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 

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

Call for Volunteers

AHBIC are seeking expressions in interest (EOI) from experienced beekeepers interested in offering their time to volunteer and support the response program on the ground in NSW. In order offer your time to the program you must be a full financial member of a member body of AHBIC i.e. a member of the Queensland Beekeepers' Association. 

The QBA is consolidating expressions of interests from Queensland based beekeepers. If you would like to express your interest in supporting the response, please email your full name, email address and mobile contact number to: biosecurity@qbabees.org.au 

Once the QBA has received your EOI, you will receive a confirmation email including additional details and next steps. 

Social Media Updates
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. 

  • 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.

    https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_OTgwODhjZmYtZDI5Mi00YmNlLWE0ZDEtOTFjODQ2ZTI0NzVj%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22d16de530-94e7-4158-b7e2-6ee220af628d%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22a3a227a6-4772-42fd-9877-c7356e5b0adc%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d&btype=a&role=a

    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


  • 13 July 2022 8:31 PM | Anonymous

    Due to the serious nature of the detection of Varroa mite in NSW and the continuing efforts being undertaken to contain and eradicate the mite, the QBA have been providing consultation to Biosecurity Queensland to develop a state wide hive surveillance program to increase Queensland based surveillance activities. 

    Today, we're pleased to announce the roll out of the Queensland Hive Surveillance program that will be facilitated through the Bee 123 portal. 

    Please find the media release from Minister Furner relating to the launch of Bee 123 in the link below. 

    To compliment the launch of the new Bee 123 software, 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.

    The live webinar will take place tomorrow (14th July 2022) at 7.00pm.

    We will send the link to the live webinar in a separate email tomorrow. Please use the link provided in the email tomorrow to access this important information session for all beekeepers. 

    Anyone wishing to participate in the webinar will need to download the Microsoft teams app prior to the webinar. Simply search the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or your internet Browser to download the Microsoft teams app. 

    I have also prepared a fact sheet on the Bee 123 program. Please feel free to download and print the fact sheet in preparation for the live webinar tomorrow. 

    We're calling on every beekeeper across Queensland to support and actively contribute the Queensland Hive Surveillance Program to assist in the national effort to detect, contain and eradicate the mite.

    Please ensure you take the time to join us tomorrow evening. Much effort has been put in behind the scenes to coordinate the program and tomorrow nights webinar for industry on top of the efforts to support the national response to the varroa mite incursion. 

    Bee a part of #teambee

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary


  • 12 July 2022 9:20 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the following update from NSW DPI Biosecurity which was published to their Facebook page today (12/07/2022) at 6.00pm.


      There have been no new detections of Varroa mite as field officers continue to carry out hive inspections and surveillance with beekeepers in the affected areas.

      A reminder to all beekeepers during this difficult time that there are free and confidential support services available, and we encourage beekeepers to access small business, and mental health and wellbeing support early. You can read more in the latest assistance guide for beekeepers: https://fal.cn/3q9OA

      Report managed hives, wild hives or abandoned hives here: https://fal.cn/3q9Oy

      For the latest information visit https://fal.cn/3q9Oz

    The NSW DPI Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order No.12 remains the most recent order for NSW. 

    We remind all members that there strict conditions allowing commercial beekeepers to work their hives if they are outside of the red zone. It is important that we reiterate  the standstill (restriction on the movement of hives) remains in place. 

    For more information on activities permitted under the current emergency order, please visit the link below. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary


  • 10 July 2022 6:45 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the update from AHBIC below which was posted to social media at 3pm today (10/07/2022). 

    AHBIC is working hard for the benefit of our Honey Bee industry and partners in Australia.

    In order to do this we take into account the diverse needs and desires of beekeepers throughout Australia encompassing various business models, regions and available floral resources.

    The approach AHBIC is taking in providing advice to the incident management team is a risk based approach, to achieve business continuity for beekeepers without taking unconsidered risks.

    DPI is working on a movement permit system to allow movement of bees from certain areas of NSW, under certain conditions, without compromising the effort to eradicate Varroa.

    AHBIC is providing input to DPI to ensure a balanced risk based approach to hive movement. Spring is a critical time for beekeepers who need to move hives for business continuity, without spreading Varroa.

    The first stage of this approach is to allow beekeepers to manage beehives without moving. This was achieved yesterday when the no-tamper order was lifted for the areas outside the eradication zone. The second stage will be to implement controlled and traceable movement permits. This permit system is being carefully considered with input from many experts including AHBIC. The permits will contain conditions to minimise the risk of Varroa spread. Permits will not be implemented until the experts believe the risk is considered and minimised.

    AHBIC will continue to represent the needs of the Honey Bee industry and strive for the best outcome possible for this dire situation we find ourselves in.

    There is a large team of professionals working hard to provide the best possible outcome including 80 DPI staff at Orange, 188 DPI staff at Maitland and over 50 beekeeping volunteers.

    AHBIC also shared a shot video of the activity at the State Control Centre. 

    Please click here to watch the video.

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary


  • 10 July 2022 6:36 PM | Anonymous

    Please find attached the latest NSW DPI Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order No.12 issued by the Deputy Plant Protection Officer of NSW. 

    The following update was issued by NSW DPI Biosecurity earlier today (10/07/2022 at 2.30pm) via Facebook. 

    #Varroa update

     As at 6pm Saturday 9 July, DPI has confirmed three new detections of Varroa mite as field officers continue to carry out hive inspections and surveillance with #beekeepers in the affected areas.

     All new cases are linked to previously known cases.

     The new confirmed cases include Jerrys Plains, Denman and Heatherbrae and brings the total number of infested premises to 38 since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

     The new confirmed cases at Denman and Heatherbrae fall within previously declared emergency zones, and a new Biosecurity Emergency Order has been issued with additional emergency zones for the confirmed case at Jerrys Plains.

     A group permit allowing the movement of #honeybees and hives to a higher location on the same premises, for premises within a flood watch area, has been extended for 7 days, until midnight on Sunday 17 July.

     An $18 million compensation package has been developed for registered commercial and recreational beekeepers affected by the Varroa mite outbreak.

    Further details will be provided on this when available at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 09 July 2022 7:53 PM | Anonymous

    Please find below today's media release from NSW DPI Biosecurity.

    Narrabri in the Front Line of Efforts to Stop the Varroa Mite

    9 Jul 2022

    NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) is encouraging local beekeepers to be aware of their responsibilities under biosecurity emergency zones, which are in force around Narrabri as part of the biosecurity emergency response to Varroa mite.

    Acting Chief Plant Protection Officer, Dr Chris Anderson said NSW DPI biosecurity officers have been working with local beekeepers in and around Narrabri, since an infested premises was located in the area earlier this week.

    “Critically, this Narrabri premises is directly linked to a previously identified property which shows the prompt and efficient response by the NSW DPI is working well,” Dr Anderson said.

    “Infested hives found at Narrabri had been stored in Newcastle with other hives for several months before being transported to Narrabri.

    “Once the Narrabri Varroa Mite infestation was detected an emergency zone was established around the affected property.

    “Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite, the most serious pest of honeybees worldwide. It’s critical we get on top of this incursion fast and the assistance of beekeepers and the community will be critical to that success.”

    Under orders issued by NSW DPI no honeybee hives can be moved within NSW without a permit, no honey or honeycomb can be harvested and honeybee hives are not otherwise permitted to be tampered with except to carry out sugar shake or ethanol wash testing to monitor for the presence of varroa mites.

    Beekeepers within the 10, 25 and 50 km biosecurity zones around infested properties must also notify NSW DPI of the location of all bees by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline, 1800 084 881, or visiting www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

    Eradication plans include treatment of beehives within a 10 km emergency zone around infested sites and inspection of managed and feral honeybee colonies within a 25 km surveillance zone.

    Beekeepers work side-by-side with government as part of Australia’s early warning system to detect exotic honeybee pests, the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program, which includes surveillance hives and catch boxes at strategic locations around our ports and airports.

    More information is available from NSW DPI: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary


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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