VARROA IN NSW - IMPORTANT INFO FOR BEEKEEPERS

Last updated: Aug 3rd 2022


Just as each bee acts for the good of the entire colony, right now it’s necessary for all of us as individual beekeepers to do our part in preventing the varroa mite from becoming established on our continent!

All beekeepers in Australia should make sure their hive registration is current, and monitor updates from their state's official agricultural body.

Following the recent detection of varroa mite in Newcastle and other locations, an emergency New South Wales DPI biosecurity order is in place throughout the state prohibiting the movement of bees without a permit.

NSW beekeepers outside the red eradication zones are allowed to work their hives. This means that they can do brood inspections, harvest honey, check for varroa mites, place empty supers on full hives, and undertake spring management to limit swarming (including splitting, if the split is not being moved away from the location of the original hive). Note - you still cannot move a hive in New South Wales without a permit. 

Further directives are in place within 50km of detection sites. In the red zones, when notification is given that bees are to be euthanised within 48 hours, there is specific permission for Flow Hives to be harvested first.

All people who have acquired honeybees (including queen bees, nucleus hives and hives with honeybees) from within the 50km emergency notification zone of the Port of Newcastle in the last 12-months are being urged to play their part by reporting them to help ensure business continuity for the bee industry.  

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

In addition to following the official instructions (see link at top of page) and keeping up to speed with updates from the official bodies:

 

  1. MAKE SURE YOUR HIVE IS REGISTERED
    To assist in managing incidents like this, if you haven’t already registered your hive (or if your registration has lapsed) please make sure you register or renew
    If you’re a Flow customer, you’ll have instructions on how to register in your inbox from when you purchased your hive. 
    Also make sure your contact details are up to date, and make sure any beekeepers you know have registered their hives.

  2.  MONITOR YOUR HIVE FOR VARROA MITES &
    MANAGE YOUR HIVE TO LIMIT SWARMING
    We've gathered useful information on monitoring for varroa and spring management practices to limit swarming here. Limiting swarming in springtime is an important part of minimising the spread of varroa, and it's more important than ever this year!

  3. VOLUNTEER! 
    Beekeepers who want to volunteer for the monitoring/containment effort can express interest though their recreation or industry association (ie: your local beekeeping club).

  4. In the emergency notification areas:

    IDENTIFY AND REPORT FERAL HONEYBEE COLONIES
    If you discover the location of a feral colony, you must let the DPI know! This can be done by: 
    A) Completing the Report a Biosecurity Concern form (nsw.gov.au)
    B) Calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline, 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, 7 days a week)
    C) Emailing hive.location@emergency.dpi.nsw.gov.au



Our hearts go out to all of the beekeepers who are being adversely affected at this time… We’re monitoring things closely as the situation unfolds and are aiming to determine the best ways that we can be of support to our customers in the Newcastle region and to the wider Australian beekeeping sphere.

Best Regards, 
- The Flow Team