Pest and Disease News

Varroa destructor was detected in Newcastle NSW on the 22 June 2022. Varroa mite presents a significant threat to Australian honey bees. The parasitic mite is a host to a number of diseases yet to reach Australian shores. 

Whilst we are relatively confident of the containment of the mite to the prescribed biosecurity zones, every beekeeper in Australia must be on watch for this tiny enemy. Beekeepers are urged to take immediate action and undertake surveillance for varroa now. Report all surveillance results including your negative data. 

Should varroa ever become established, every Australian household will feel the impacts of the mite. As our beekeepers battle to maintain mite populations, Australian households will feel the squeeze through the decline in production of our world class honey varieties, to the decline in honey bee populations, ultimately impacting the supply of managed honey bees for the pollination of  35 crops varieties.

Make no doubt, the current varroa mite detection is a national biosecurity emergency within our industry, the agricultural sector and every Australian household feeling the pinch from the rising cost of living.

Varroa is the Foot-and -Mouth disease equivalent for the Australian honey bee industry. 

Industry and Government are working closely together on the national response to the detection of the mite and the subsequent eradication program. 

For more information on varroa and the Queensland response, please visit the Queensland DAF engagement hub:

General Pest and Disease Updates

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  • 24 June 2022 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier today the QBA received notice that a detection of Varroa destructor had been made in the Port of Newcastle. 

    We ask that all members and clubs re-circulate this email as a matter of priority. 

    AHBIC will manage all media enquires in relation to this matter. 

    If any members of the QBA, our affiliate clubs receive a request for media interviews. Please forward all requests to AHBIC via the AHBIC email address: or call 0402 467 780.

    Please find the media release from AHBIC and the NSW DPI below. 

    Any QBA members wishing to add their name to the state response team are asked to email their full name, contact number, and email address to 

    The QBA have been in constant contact with DAF and will continue to liaise closely with the Ministers office and key people in the Queensland department in relation to this critical matter. 

    Further information to come. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 24 June 2022 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    A detection of Varroa destructor was identified by authorities on Wednesday 22nd June 2022 in sentinel hives at the Port of Newcastle. Please find information from AHBIC in the attachment below relating to the detection. 

    AHBIC incursion information - 24-06-2022.pdf
  • 21 April 2022 9:42 PM | Anonymous

    AHBIC has been advised by the Office of the Australian Chief Plant Protection Officer that a nest of Apis florea, the dwarf honey bee, was found on the underside of a vehicle on 6 April 2022 that was shipped from Thailand. They have been destroyed and a queen bee along with 120 workers were on the nest. There were no eggs, larvae or brood. The vehicle was at an Approved Arrangement Site in Port Melbourne.

    Click on the link below to read the full statement from AHBIC. 

  • 18 August 2021 8:53 PM | Anonymous

    Media release from Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, Australia has been declared officially free from the bee parasite, Varroa jacobsoni, following its successful eradication from Townsville, Queensland.

    Click here to read the media release.

  • 12 August 2021 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    It gives us great confidence to advise the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program operational through out 2020/21 has successfully eradicated varroa mite from the Port of Townsville and surrounding area. 

    QBA State Secretary Jo Martin and Minister Mark Furner collaborated a media release to signify the formal declaration of proof of freedom from this most recent biosecurity detection and threat to the Australian beekeeping industry and those industry's dependent on strong healthy honey bees for pollination. 

    The QBA would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in this successful program. Through dedication and absolute professionalism, the team must be congratulated for their efforts. 

    We encourage our members to read the following media release.

  • 12 August 2021 6:00 AM | Anonymous

    The Proof of Freedom from the recent detection of Varroa mite located on a nest of Apis cerana (Asian Honey bee) in the Port of Townsville has been declared. The following is a joint media statement from Hon Minister Mark Furner and QBA State Secretary Jo Martin. 

    Click here to read the media release

  • 11 June 2020 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    Varroa mites in Townsville

    Our officers are responding to another incursion of varroa mites (Varroa jacobsoni) found at the Port of Townsville on April 28 2020.The tiny mites were brought here on a nest of Asian honey bees. 

    Early detection is vital. If you live in the Townsville area and see bees, and suspect they may be Asian honey bees, please contact us immediately so they can be checked for mites on 13 25 23. Asian honey bees are smaller and shinier than our European honey bees, with more even stripes down the length of the body.

    For more information relating to reporting exotic pests and disease please visit the following links:

    Asian Honey bees:

    Varroa Mite:


  • 07 January 2020 11:54 AM | Anonymous

    Please use the following link to access the current Apis cerana KIA map dated 06/01/2020.

    Apis cerana KIA - 20200106 Current Known infested area.pdf
  • 02 December 2019 8:30 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    Please see a recent update from Biosecurity Queensland on the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program below.

    Nov 8 Media Release Biosecurity QLD.pdf

    Many thanks,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary 

  • 17 October 2019 8:33 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    Please see the official announcement made earlier today about our new Bee Biosecurity Officer in Queensland. 

    QLD Bee Biosecurity Officer Appointment.pdf

    Many thanks,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

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