Varroa mite emergency response

NSW DPI has detected Varroa mite, which was confirmed as Varroa destructor, in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle. NSW DPI is working to protect the NSW honeybee industry by ensuring we eradicate the parasite.


Check the frequently asked questions

Our FAQs are updated regularly as the response continues.

Register as a beekeeper

Register as a beekeeper with NSW DPI to be eligible for reimbursement as part of the Varroa response.

What beekeepers should do

  • Check the latest update, and use the online map to determine whether you are in a biosecurity zone.
  • All beekeepers within the eradication, surveillance and notification zones need to report your hive, preferably online by completing the Beekeeper Notifications - Varroa mite online form
  • If you detect Varroa mite, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline to report your detection on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, 7 days a week).

Your wellbeing

Read our Assistance Guide for Beekeepers PDF, 231.53 KB for various assistance services available to impacted beekeepers to support them through the emergency response.

There are free and confidential support services available to all beekeepers during this difficult time and we encourage beekeepers to access small business and mental health and wellbeing support early.

Small business support is available to beekeepers through

The Varroa mite emergency response may impact people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

Stressful events can cause feelings of worry and unease, especially where there are levels of uncertainty involved, but there are things you can do to take care of yourself.

In tough times we need to remember to look after ourselves. As much as possible, maintaining routines with good diet, exercise, and sleep will increase your capacity to deal with stress.

This is the time to stay connected with family and friends and seek for support when you need it.

Mental health support is available through

Latest updates

For previous updates, visit the archive page.

Daily update

No new infected premises have been detected, with the total number staying at 97.

Surveillance continues in the Grafton and Narrabri area. No new infected premises have been found since the first and only detections in those areas.

What is permitted in each zone?

All emergency zones

Movement of hives, brood boxes, nucleus hives, packaged bees and queen bees are not permitted anywhere in NSW.

A special group permit was issued by DPI on Sunday 7 August allowing beekeepers in flood warning areas to move their hives to higher ground. The permit comes with a strict set of conditions to support eradication efforts while allowing beekeepers to also manage their hives.

Red eradication zones

Beekeepers are permitted to tamper with a hive to prevent swarming by placing an empty honey super on the hive and moving frames between the honey super on the hive. Specific requirements apply, as per the Emergency Order.

Beekeepers within the red eradication zones are permitted to remove honey from their infected hives or flow hives, if they are to be euthanised in the following 48 hours. Specific requirements apply, as per the Emergency Order.

A registered beekeeper or qualified pest controller may tamper with feral bees from a feral colony with the aim of euthanising them. Specific requirements apply, as per the Emergency Order.

Purple surveillance and yellow notification zones

Beekeepers are permitted to work their hives:

  • for surveillance
  • to remove frames and supers for honey extraction
  • to place an empty super on a full hive to prevent swarming
  • to euthanise a queenless hive (a hive that does not have a functional queen bee)
  • to seal a dead out hive (where bee colony has died or left)
  • to treat hive for American foulbrood or small hive beetle

A registered beekeeper or qualified pest controller may tamper with feral bees from a feral colony with the aim of euthanising them. Specific requirements apply, as per the Emergency Order.

Blue general zone

Registered commercial beekeepers within low-risk areas of NSW can complete a Hive Movement Declaration to move honeybees and hives, to allow for business continuity and to provide pollination services. There are explicit requirements on beekeepers before moving.

Hives and honeybees that have been in an eradication zone within the past 24 months or in the Narrabri emergency zones since 30 April 2022 are not permitted to be moved under the permit.

Beekeepers in all zones except red eradication zone, are permitted to work their hives, remove frames for honey extraction and place empty supers on full hives.

A registered beekeeper or qualified pest controller may tamper with feral bees from a feral colony with the aim of euthanising them. Specific requirements apply, as per the Emergency Order.

Beekeepers are permitted to work their hives:

  • for surveillance
  • to remove frames and supers for honey extraction
  • to place an empty super on a full hive to prevent swarming
  • to euthanise a queenless hive (a hive that does not have a functional queen bee)
  • to seal a dead out hive (where bee colony has died or left)
  • to treat hive for American foulbrood or small hive beetle.

Beekeepers from interstate

A Biosecurity Emergency Group Permit allows the movement of hives and honeybees to and from Queensland to transit through New South Wales.

Today’s Varroa mite response update

NEW ORDER OUT

🐝Feral bees Registered beekeepers and qualified pest controllers are permitted to destruct feral bees and hives. Clauses 19, 39, 46 and 51 relate to feral bees.

🐝Managing feral swarms in the blue zone Registered beekeepers in the Blue zone are allowed to capture and manage feral swarms. Clause 51 relates to managing feral swarms in the General Emergency Zone (blue zone).

🐝Movement of honey supers in purple, yellow and blue zones A change to allow movements of honey supers from within and between the purple, yellow and blue zones, subject to conditions. Clauses 42, 47 and 52 relate to the movement of honey supers in the Surveillance, Notification and General Emergency zones (purple, yellow and blue zones).

🐝Movement of honey supers in red zones New provision to allow supers to be moved out of the red zone (after being wrapped for 21 days and subject to other conditions), but not within or into the red zone. Clauses 32, 33, 34 and 35 relate to provisions for movement of honey supers in the Eradication Zone.

The Emergency Order and further information can be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa.

NUMBER OF IP's - Infected premises number remains at 97 - no new detection's today.

Varroa mite response - Daily Update

Ongoing Varroa mite tracing and surveillance has identified 4 additional infected premises (IPs) today, with the total number of IPs in NSW now at 97.

The new infected premises are at Salt Ash, Mayfield East and Beresfield, all within the eradication zone. All cases to date either have clear links through the movement of hives or equipment, or are geographically related.

Beekeepers in the surveillance zones should continue monitoring their hives for the presence of Varroa mite. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NSWDPI.Biosec

Varroa mite response - Daily Update

Varroa mite tracing and surveillance has identified 7 additional infected premises (IPs) today, with the total number of IPs in NSW now at 93.
The new infected premises are at Duckenfield, Thornton, Tarro, Nelsons Plains and 3 in Anna Bay, all within the eradication zone.
All cases to date either have clear links through the movement of hives or equipment, or are geographically related.
Beekeepers in the surveillance zones should continue monitoring their hives for the presence of Varroa mite. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NSWDPI.Biosec
Varroa mite response - Daily Update
Varroa mite tracing and surveillance has identified 3 additional infected premises (IPs) today, with the total number of IPs in NSW now at 86. The new infected premises are at Kotara, Nelsons Plains and Butterwick, all within the Newcastle Region. All cases to date either have clear links through the movement of hives or equipment, or are geographically related.

Beekeepers in the surveillance zones should continue monitoring their hives for the presence of Varroa mite. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NSWDPI.Biosec

Varroa mite response - Daily Update

Varroa mite tracing and surveillance has identified no new infected premises (IPs) today, with the total number of IPs in NSW remaining at 83.

All cases to date either have clear links through the movement of hives or equipment, or are geographically related.

Beekeepers in the surveillance zones should continue monitoring their hives for the presence of Varroa mite. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NSWDPI.Biosec

Varroa mite response - Daily Update

Varroa mite tracing and surveillance has identified 4 additional infected premises (IPs), bringing the total number in NSW to 83. These IPs have been detected inside the eradication zone in the localities of Hinton, Brandy Hill, Macquarie Hills and Black Hill.

All cases to date either have clear links through the movement of hives or equipment, or are geographically related.

Beekeepers in the surveillance zones should continue monitoring their hives for the presence of Varroa mite. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook Page www.facebook.com/NSWDPI.Biosec

Varroa mite response - Daily Update

Two new cases of Varroa mite have been detected at Seaham and Anna Bay. This brings the total number of Infected Premises to 79. These cases are located within existing eradication zones and are geographically related.

Beekeepers in the surveillance zones should continue monitoring their hives for the presence of Varroa mite. You can keep up to date with the latest information on the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook page www.facebook.com/NSWDPI.Biosec

Varroa mite emergency zones

There are four Varroa mite zones.

Varroa map legend

Different restrictions apply depending on where your honeybees and hives are located.

If you have honeybee colonies or hives in the Notification zone, Eradication or Surveillance zone, you must tell NSW DPI where they are. This includes queen honeybees in cages and packaged honeybees.

What do the emergency zones mean?

  • The red represents the 10km eradication zones where honeybee hives will be euthanised.
  • The purple shows the 25km surveillance zones, where officials are monitoring and inspecting managed and feral honeybees to limit the extent of these incursions.
  • The yellow represents the 50km biosecurity zones and beekeepers within that area must notify NSW DPI of the locations of their hives.

Note: beekeepers in all these zones must notify NSW DPI of the location of their hives.

If you find varroa mite in a hive you are responsible for, notify NSW DPI by:

Varroa mite emergency zone map

 

 


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