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. 

In response to the detection a large scale national program was initiated to attempt to eradicate the mite. After 16 months of response the Consultative Committee for Emergency Plant Pest (CCEPP representatives of all signatories to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed) and unanimously reached a conclusion that due to a number of trigger thresholds for technical feasibility of eradication being met and exceeded it was no longer feasible to continue with the eradication and Industry would commence transition to managing varroa mite. 

In order for the Queensland honey bee industry to remain confident of the containment of the mite to the prescribed biosecurity zones in NSW, every beekeeper in Queensland 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. 

Although it will take some years before varroa is endemic across Queensland, every Australian household will eventually feel the impacts of the mite. 

Varroa mite will change the face of Australian beekeeping. The mite presents one of the most significant challenges within our industry, and will have multi-billion dollar impacts the agricultural sector and every Australian household feeling the pinch from the rising cost of living.

Industry (QBA) and Government are working closely together on the national response to varroa as we navigate the challenges associated with learning to live with the pest. 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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  • 27 February 2024 8:42 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members, 

    The QBA is writing to our members and our affiliate clubs to inform you of the detection of a suspect mite in the Port of Brisbane.

    At this early stage preliminary testing has indicated that this mite is Varroa jacobsoni

    A movement control order has been issued and is effective immediately. Please click on the link below to read the movement control order. 

    Click here to read the Movement Control Order

    I have also established an independent website page within our membership portal that provides beekeeper impacted in the zone with immediate direction. The new sub-page can be found by clicking on the link below. 

    At this stage, the executive actively encourage all members of the QBA and our associate clubs to initiate varroa mite surveillance at their earliest opportunity and report all results to the Bee 123 portal. 

    Our ILO's are already in place in the Port and in the Incident Control centre. Please stay tuned for the next update. 

    All the best,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 07 July 2023 9:24 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members, 

    The West Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has issued a biosecurity alert giving notice of a detection of Red dwarf honey bees (Apis florea) at a Gas plant in Karratha WA. 

    We encourage you to read the media release by clicking on the button below and familiarise yourself with the Biosecurity Alert collateral issued in response to the detection. 

    DPIRD Media Release: Report sightings of Red dwarf honey bees

    Red dwarf honey bee biosecurity alert.pdf

    Please ensure you report all suspect biosecurity matters to the relevant jurisdiction. In Queensland, please call DAF 13 25 23.

    All the best, 

    Jo Martin 

  • 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
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