NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) has confirmed five new detections of Varroa mite as field officers continue to carry out hive inspections and surveillance with beekeepers in the affected areas.
NSW DPI Acting Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Chris Anderson, said the premises where the Varroa mite was detected all fall within existing emergency zones.
The new detections at Anna Bay, Heatherbrae, Williamtown, Mayfield and Lambton brings the total number of infested premises to 24, since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.
“NSW DPI has established emergency zones around the infested premises and has put significant measures in place to stop the spread of the Varroa mite,” Dr Anderson said.
“As per the agreed response plan with industry, NSW DPI will commence euthanising all hives and equipment on the property, with the assistance of the owner. All movements of hives and equipment onto and off the property over the past 12 months will be traced, and risk analysis and surveillance with beekeepers will be conducted in the area to minimise further spread,” he said.
NSW DPI asks all beekeepers and property owners with hives on their land within the 50km emergency zone of Narrabri to report their hives on the Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa.
“NSW DPI continues to ask people who have acquired honeybees (including queen bees, nucleus hives and hives with honeybees) from within the 50km emergency notification zone the Port of Newcastle in the last 12-months to report them to help ensure business continuity for the bee industry. The communities in the surveillance zones are also asked to report feral honeybee hives.
“Community reporting is an invaluable component of our control measures and we are all in this together.”
NSW DPI has also contacted beekeepers in the Central Coast Calga area to advise that authorised officers will commence conducting hive inspections in the surveillance zone over the next week.
NSW DPI’s efforts to arrest the Varroa mite spread are being assisted by the apiary industry, Local Land Services (LLS), NSW Police, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the wider community.
Throughout the remainder of NSW, no beehives or honeybees may be moved.