As a follow on from our most recent varroa mite update, I am writing to our members to advise of changes to the Queensland border and subsequent movement of livestock (queens and hives).
For members that may have missed our last communication, the NSW DPI made a declaration of freedom from varroa mite in the General Emergency Zone (or blue zone as it is more commonly known to industry). This declaration was agreed to by state jurisdictions. The declaration has now enacted a staged re-opening of borders allowing the movement of hives and queens under a strict permit and compliance system.
If you may have missed this announcement, please click here to read the update from AHBIC.
We are pleased to advise that representatives from DAF will be prioritising permits for our stranded industry colleagues in the first instance. Prioritisation of these beekeepers will enable almost 4,000 stranded hives with a pathway to enter their state of origin. Entry permits will also alleviate significant emotional and operational fatigue, as well as financial burden from our friends who have been in limbo since the detection of the mite in New South Wales.
As we enter the next phase in the response to varroa we remind our members that if you are considering any movements across the Queensland border with New South Wales you will need to comply with permit arrangements and conditions in both NSW and QLD.
Moving bees into Queensland can only be undertaken if you have applied for and received an approved permit from Biosecurity Queensland.
Please find below communication from Biosecurity Queensland in relation to the staged re-opening of Queensland borders under the new permit system.
Varroa mite – moving hives into Queensland
NSW General Emergency Zone declared free from varroa mite
Beekeepers can now apply for a permit to move European honey bees and other related materials into Queensland from the NSW General Emergency Zone (GEZ) after this zone was declared free of varroa mite (Varroa destructor).
A permit is required for anyone bringing bees, hives, used beekeeping equipment or bee products (including unprocessed honey), into any part of Queensland from any state or territory. All permits will be subject to strict permit conditions and active compliance checks.
Permit applications from Queensland registered beekeepers located in the NSW General Zone (Blue zone) will be prioritised and a dedicated case manager will be assigned to manage the process.
In the coming weeks, owners of non-Queensland registered hives will also be able to apply for a permit to enter.
You can apply online for a biosecurity instrument permit or by calling the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.
Check hives and report results
All beekeepers are encouraged to check their hives and report results to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, using the Bee 123 online form, or by calling 13 25 23.
Report any checks you have made on your hives, even if you do not find any suspect mites. The data gathered from checking hives will help us to understand the health of bee hives in Queensland.
Register as a biosecurity entity
If you own or keep at least one hive, you must register as a biosecurity entity. Registration is free for non-commercial beekeepers.
Registration helps contact owners, keeping you informed if there’s an animal disease emergency. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re registered if you meet the requirements.
On a final note, since the initiation of the response to the detection of varroa, the QBA have provided consultation to DAF and Biosecurity Queensland on most aspects of the response.
We have advocated for the establishment of strong measures to protect the state from the mite in addition to practical management strategies to support Queensland beekeepers through the most significant threat to modern day Australian beekeeping.
Should you have any questions about this announcement or require support in applying for a permit, please contact me via email (email@example.com).
QBA State Secretary