Restrictions are now in place to prohibit the movement of bees from New South Wales into Victoria.
These restrictions have been put in place to prevent and control Varroa mite, as New South Wales respond to multiple detections near the Port of Newcastle.
Victoria’s Deputy Chief Plant Health Officer Stephen Dibley said the measures were necessary to support the national response and ensure we keep Varroa mite out of Victoria and protect our beekeepers.
“Varroa mite is a serious threat to Australia’s bee population and horticulture industries that rely on pollination,” Dr Dibley said.
“The restrictions mean that no bees, hives or beekeeping equipment can be moved into Victoria from New South Wales without a permit. However, no permits will be granted while the NSW standstill is in place, to comply with NSW emergency orders.”
These are in addition to the rules in New South Wales and other states.
Dr Dibley said there had been no detections of Varroa mite in Victoria, and these restrictions are in place to prevent that from happening.
“We will also be supporting New South Wales Government in their response.”
Dr Dibley said beekeepers should be vigilant with their surveillance of hives.
“Beekeepers should inspect their hives regularly for signs of Varroa mite and other exotic pests, using the appropriate methods including sugar shake and drone uncapping.
“Any suspect detections can be reported immediately to the national Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.”
Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is a serious, exotic parasite of adult European honeybees and their brood. It weakens and kills honeybee colonies and can also transmit honeybee viruses.
The mite occurs in beekeeping countries throughout the world but is not established in Australia. It is considered the greatest threat to Australia’s honey and honeybee pollination plant industries.
Victoria intercepted Varroa mite when it was found on a ship at the Port of Melbourne in 2018. Agriculture Victoria and industry worked together to address the threat and conduct surveillance around the port, and no further mites were found.