Varroa Mite Detection in Newcastle, NSW

This portal has been specifically designed as an information portal to support industry during the response and eradication phase to eliminate Varroa destructor detected in the Port of Newcastle on the 22nd of June 2022.

The QBA Executive team will endeavour to publish updates relating to the incursion as frequently as physically possible. QBA members will continue to receive email updates via our dedicated communication channels.

If you are interested in supporting the QBA by becoming a member, please click here to complete your application for membership. Once you have completed your application and settled your membership invoice, you will be automatically added to our members communication list. 

Whilst we appreciate the anxiety within industry in the wake of the announcement of the detection of varroa, and the added concern it has raised about our future, please know your team at the QBA is on the front line of the response efforts here in Queensland, whilst continuing to provide support to the national effort.  

To report varroa mite detections in Queensland 

Call: Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23

or the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881 

News and Updates

Please use the blog post below to access a time line of all communications relating to the varroa destructor detection and response. 

  • 25 July 2022 9:02 PM | Anonymous

    Please find below today's update published from NSW DPI Biosecurity just moments ago. This information was taken directly from the NSW DPI Biosecurity Facebook page (25/07/2022 at 9.00pm)

    NSW DPI Varroa mite tracing and surveillance work has confirmed one new detection of Varroa mite, as field officers continue hive inspections with beekeepers across the state.

    The new detection is near Nana Glen, north-west of Coffs Harbour and brings the total number of infested premises to 43.

    The new infested hives where the Varroa mite was detected falls outside of existing emergency zones. NSW DPI has established emergency zones around the infested premises.

    Our tracing efforts discovered this infested premises near Nana Glen, where infested hives were moved in earlier this year, prior to our Biosecurity Emergency Order was in place. This is connected to one of our existing infested premises in the Hunter cluster.

    As an industry group, our intensive surveillance and tracing activities, in addition to the state-wide lockdown and creation of emergency zones, continue to play a critical role in emergency response efforts.

    Visit and use the interactive map to search for your address, to determine what emergency zone you’re situated in.

     What should I do? 

    - All beekeepers responsible for honeybee colonies or hives within 50km biosecurity zones are either in the Notification zone, Eradication or Surveillance zones.

    -In those zones, beekeepers must tell NSW DPI where their honeybees and hives are. This includes queen honeybees in cages and packaged honeybees.

    You can notify NSW DPI:

    - to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881

    - by using the online form at

    If anyone in NSW has found Varroa mite, they must tell NSW DPI immediately.

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 25 July 2022 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the latest update to the NSW DPI Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order No.15 issued by the Chief Plant Protection Officer of NSW below.

    I have taken the liberty of attaching the new and updated varroa mite map to the bottom of this email. If you would like to view the interactive map, please click on the link here

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 20 July 2022 2:09 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the following update from the NSW DPI Biosecurity team relating to the new movement arrangements for commercial beekeepers with hives in NSW. The information below was taken directly from the NSW DPI website earlier today (20/07/2022). 

    Registered commercial beekeepers can submit a Hive Movement Declaration to move their honeybees and hives, provided they are located outside of the eradication, surveillance and notification zones (red, purple and yellow zones as shown on the DPI website).

    The plan has been carefully developed through a risk-based approach to enable business continuity and critical pollination services for registered commercial beekeepers in certain parts of NSW.

    NSW DPI has worked in consultation with the apiary and horticultural industries in NSW to develop this approach.

    The Biosecurity Emergency Group Permit (PDF, 180.15 KB) makes allowance for some registered commercial beekeepers to move hives in low risk areas of NSW, while the standstill of movement of beehives remains in place as per the current Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order 2022.

    View more on the Hive Movement Declaration page.

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 20 July 2022 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    As a result of the launch of the Bee 123 varroa mite surveillance reporting software, we are putting another call out to all QBA members and members of affiliate clubs to commence varroa mite surveillance activities immediately, and report the activities you've completed (regardless of the result) to the Bee 123 app or online via the following link:

    The Bee 123 program is a critical mechanism that will assist in our preparedness efforts for varroa mite. 

    We also ask if you have completed mite surveillance activities since the detection of varroa destructor in the Port of Newcastle, the results of your activities should be reported to the Bee 123 portal. 

    Reporting your findings takes just a few moments. I have attached the Bee 123 announcement and fact sheet (sent to members last week) to support our members to fulfil this request from the QBA. The fact sheet supports you in a step by step process to set up the app with ease.

    The QBA executive team have also produced a limited number of alcohol wash kits for QBA members. The alcohol wash kits were distributed to the 5 QBA branches last week. We strongly recommend QBA members make contact with their branch executive to arrange collection of a kit. 

    The varroa mite detection in Newcastle and subsequent response effort is the 'when' industry has been inevitably waiting and preparing for. Conducting varroa mite surveillance today is the activity you can complete now, to play your role in the national fight to contain and eradicate varroa. 

    Please support the significant effort from the QBA, our team on the ground in the biosecurity zones and the efforts of DAF and Biosecurity Queensland to protect and support the future of beekeeping in Queensland.

    You are a critical member of the team, its now time to take the field. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 18 July 2022 11:01 AM | Anonymous

    Please find below, the updated NSW DPI Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order No.14 issued by the Deputy Plant Protection Officer of NSW. 

    I have taken the following update (posted yesterday evening 17/07/2022) from the NSW DPI website. 

    A new Biosecurity Order has been made available, including one new infested premises detected. The infested premises is located east of Singleton, within the existing Hunter area emergency zones.

    The order includes the following changes:

    • the Varroa Mite Response map has been updated online at
    • the definition of rendered wax has been updated to exclude straining. Commercially, the process may not include straining.  As varroa mites will not survive in temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius and wax melts between 62.5 and 65 degrees Celsius, the rendering process kills varroa mites. Consequently, there is no biosecurity risk posed by rendered beeswax.

    Industry and DPI working together

    DPI continues to work closely with industry representatives in response the Varroa mite emergency in the Hunter area.

    DPI and industry representatives want to assure both commercial and recreational beekeepers that their concerns are being heard and addressed as surveillance continues as a priority across the Hunter.  DPI and NSW bee industry representatives continue to work together during this emergency response.

    Preparing for NSW registered commercial beekeepers to move hives

    As included in this newsletter yesterday, later this week registered commercial beekeepers will be able to apply to move hives enabling business continuity for the honeybee industry and support for crops that require pollination services.

    The registered commercial beekeepers must be located within NSW outside of the eradication, surveillance or notification zones (red, purple and yellow zones).

    Beekeepers can start to prepare by:

    • Alcohol washing a proportion of their hives and recording the results to prove they are free from Varroa mite.
    • Checking their records are up to date and that none of their hives have been in an eradication, notification or surveillance zone within the past 24 months.

    The number of hives that need to be sampled with an alcohol wash will depend on how many hives are to be moved

    • Less than 640 hives requires 64 hives to be sampled
    • 640 hives or more require 10% of the hives being moving to be sampled.

    More information on the permit, including answers to frequently asked questions will be provided through the week.

    As a final note, I have placed the updated NSW DPI Varroa Mite map at the bottom of this email. Should you wish to access the interactive version of the online map, please click here. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 15 July 2022 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    In the last hour, an announcement was made via a media release from Agriculture Victoria in relation to the imminent Almond pollination event. Please see the media release below. 

    Queensland based beekeepers are urged to explore the movement requirements and relevant permit requirements to ensure they are in a position to comply with the entry provisions. To learn more about the permit to enter Victoria, please click on the link below. 

    QBA continues to have an active presence at all industry meetings relating to the movement of hives for almond pollination activities. Where possible, we will continue to provide information in a timely manner to our members. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 14 July 2022 9:29 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier today (14th July 2022) a new and updated Queensland Movement Control Order came into effect to reflect a number of important changes.

    The new order, means you still cannot move bees, beehives, used beekeeping equipment or bee products (including honey) into Queensland, but you will be able to move some products and equipment consistent with the movement control order, including:

    • processed honey or processed beeswax
    • a new and unused apiary appliance
    • a quarantine secured diagnostic honey sample for testing at a recognised diagnostic facility.

    Where processed honey and beeswax is being transported, the container must be clean on the outside to avoid attracting bees.

    To download a copy of the new Movement Control Order (MCO) please click on the attachment below. 

    We are asking all members to direct questions in relation to the MCO to the DAF Engagement Hub. You can visit the hub by clicking the link below and submit a question online. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 14 July 2022 9:18 PM | Anonymous

    Please find attached below the latest NSW DPI Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order No.13 issued by the Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer of NSW. 

    To view the latest varroa mite response map issued by NSW DPI Biosecurity, please click on the link below. 

    I have chosen to combine today's media update from NSW DPI Biosecurity within this email. Please see the update to the NSW DPI Biosecurity website below. 

    There has been one new detection of Varroa mite in honeybee hives at a property at Wards River, north-west of Bulahdelah.

    This brings the total number of infested premises to 39.

    Tracing is underway to confirm if this new detection is linked to a case in an existing emergency zone.

    A state-wide ban on the movement of honeybees and hives remains in place, and beekeepers within current eradication zones are not permitted to work their hives other than to conduct surveillance for Varroa mite.

    DPI are working hard in partnership with the apiary and horticulture industries to develop a permit process to manage the movement of hives outside of the current emergency zones.

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 14 July 2022 4:02 PM | Anonymous

    Tonight the live webinar on Varroa mite – preparedness, surveillance, and reporting will take place at 7.00pm

    Biosecurity Queensland and the Queensland Beekeepers Association are hosting a live webinar on varroa mite, including how to check your bee hives and report your results via the Bee 123 form on the Survey 123 app.

    To access the live webinar, please use the following link.

    Anyone wishing to participate in this live event will need to download Microsoft teams in order to view and participate in the event.

    To read the announcement on the Bee 123 app that was communicated to industry yesterday, please download the attachment below. We also recommend our members and colleagues download the Survey 123 app prior to the event to have the ultimate user experience. 

    We're hoping to see a large audience tonight during the live webinar. There will also be an opportunity to for participants to engage in a live Question and Answer session that will take place at the end of the presentations. 

    Please continue to support the work underway to detect, contain and eradicate varroa mite in NSW. We're calling on every beekeeper across the state to join in the webinar and learn more about varroa, the detection methods, and how to report all surveillance activities.

    We thank everyone for your ongoing support and assistance in communicating this message to the broader beekeeping community. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

Please click on the logo of the agencies/association below to access latest updates. 

Biosecurity Queensland - Hive Surveillance Portal 

Click here to access the portal

Social Media Updates
Useful Resources

Educational Information for all Beekeepers

Use the BeeAware website for educational information on varroa.

Use the Professional Beekeepers website for articles on varroa.

Varroa mite educational videos

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