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. 

  • 20 February 2023 5:33 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members, 

    Please find attached below the latest weekly update from the Varroa Mite Prevention and Preparedness Program within Biosecurity Queensland for the week ending 17 February 2023.

    QBA Varroa Destructor Update to Members 17022023.pdf

    Should you have any questions in relation to the update, please email me at 

    Many thanks, 

    Jo Martin 

  • 19 February 2023 12:45 PM | Anonymous

    Please find below, the latest update from AHBIC relating to two new detections of varroa mite in NSW. The two new detections are located in the Taree and Wherool Flat regions, located approximately 130km north of Newcastle. 

    AHBIC Varroa incursion update 18.pdf

    We again ask that all apiarists complete varroa mite surveillance as a priority and report all results to the Bee 123 portal. The Bee 123 desktop portal can be accessed by clicking here. 

    The QBA will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with authorities in Queensland to provide practical consultation to the VMPPP team within Biosecurity Queensland. We will communicate updates relating to this matter as soon as additional information comes to hand. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 17 February 2023 6:16 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the latest update from the Biosecurity Queensland Varroa Mite Prevention and Preparedness Program. This is the weekly update for the week ending 9 February 2023.

    QBA Varroa Destructor Update to Members 09022023.pdf

    We ask that you undertake varroa mite surveillance as a priority and report all surveillance activities to the Bee 123 portal. 

    For more information on the Bee 123 portal, please click here

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 17 February 2023 5:47 PM | Anonymous

    Please see the latest update from AHBIC in the link below relating to the addition of two new infested premises, bringing the new total of IP's to 114.


    This update provides insight into the new detections and the management of wild colonies in the emergency zones. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 09 February 2023 6:00 PM | Anonymous

    As a follow on from our earlier email, please find below information relating to the latest update from the Biosecurity Queensland, Varroa Mite Prevention and Preparedness Program. 

    Members have received an email earlier today providing information relating to the weekly update from the week ending 25th January 2023. As explained in our previous email, the Varroa Mite Prevention and Preparedness Program (VMPPP) has experienced a number of staffing movements during the course of January. 

    I am pleased to advise the reporting period will return to the standard weekly cycle that the QBA and our members have been accustomed to in the past. 

    The QBA will endeavour to communicate weekly updates each Monday, providing an update into the week that was. 

    In addition, we kindly ask that our members undertake varroa mite checks as a priority. Your assistance in checking bees and reporting your results to the Bee 123 app is invaluable to the national response efforts.

    The QBA is working with Biosecurity Queensland to provide clear and practical information to the broader beekeeping industry, detailing surveillance testing volumes and the frequency of testing rates.

    We recognise information provided through government communications may have failed to address this matter clearly in the past. Ultimately we are placing a dedicated effort to see apiarists from all backgrounds engaged in the fight to protect our bees and our beekeeping freedoms. 

    Check your bees and report your results. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 08 February 2023 12:12 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members, 

    In recent weeks we've seen a few staffing changes within the Biosecurity Queensland Varroa Mite Prevention and Preparedness Program (VMPPP). As a result of these changes the frequency of program reporting has changed and the QBA is now provided with weekly updates at the end of each work week. 

    Although we recognise that this update provides 'dated' data, we believe it remains important to provide industry with information to follow the movements of the response to varroa, from initial notification to now. 

    Please find the weekly update for the week ending 25th January 2023 attached below. 

    Please feel free to contact me via email ( should you have any questions in relation to the update. 

    Kind regards, 

    Jo Martin. 

  • 07 February 2023 10:00 PM | Anonymous

    Today I am writing to you to provide another update in the response to Varroa mite, Braula fly and the subsequent changes effective immediately relating to the current Queensland border with other states and territories. 

    This may be a lengthy email so please accept my apologies however there is much to update you on today. 

    Situation Overview

    The following are the key details relating to a number of new announcements today. I have detailed the key facts within the body of this email. 

    • The Queensland Government have established a new biosecurity zone to protect the industry from varroa mite. 
    • The new biosecurity zone covers the entire state of Queensland.
    • Beekeepers from other states or territories declared free of varroa mite can enter Queensland without a permit providing they comply with the requirements in NSW to move hives through the state.
    • Braula Fly (Bee louse) is no longer considered to be a prohibited matter. Braula fly is now a notifiable pest under the Qld Biosecurity regulations.
    • Processed honey or beeswax, new and unused apiary appliances, and quarantine secured diagnostic honey samples for testing at a recognised diagnostic facility can continue to enter Queensland. 
    • Queensland based beekeepers may now accept queen bee consignments sent from Victoria and any other state found to be free from varroa. 
    • The movement of queen bees from NSW into Queensland continues to be strictly prohibited. Permits and Conditions are being developed in collaboration with other jurisdictions. This is the next priority for the jurisdictional cross agency response working group. 

    New Biosecurity Zone in Queensland

    The Queensland Government have now established a new biosecurity zone in Queensland. This change removes the previous Movement Control Order which served as the statutory document that enforced the closure of Queensland borders. 

    From today, beekeepers and supplies of queen bees from states or territories declared free from varroa may recommence the movement of livestock on the provision the beekeeper migrating bees or sending a consignment of queens meets the requirements for moving bees through NSW. 

    If you're intention is to transport bees from VIC through NSW you are required to check the requirements relating to the movement of hives with NSW DPI. 

    Just like the border closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, please ensure you are meeting the requirements of the jurisdiction where the bees are currently located and where they may be migrated too. 

    Changes to the Queensland Border with New South Wales

    As the QBA communicated in a recent email, the NSW blue 'general' biosecurity zone was recently declared to be 'free' from varroa by other state jurisdictions after careful consideration of the area of freedom report. Click here to read the update from AHBIC. 

    This change in the status of the blue zone now provides a means for beekeepers to migrate honey bee colonies under a strict permit and compliance arrangement across the Queensland/New South Wales border. Any beekeepers considering their options to migrate bees is strongly encouraged to visit the DAF E-hub (click here) to learn more about the application process and speak with a representative from Biosecurity Queensland (call 13 25 23). 

    Any beekeeper wishing to move hives the NSW general biosecurity zone to Queensland must complete an application for an entry permit. Please click on the link below to learn more about this permit. 

    Any beekeeper planning to move will need to wait until they have received an approved permit application and meet all conditions associated with the issue of the permit. 

    Queens from New South Wales

    At the time of writing this email, queen bees are not permitted to be migrated from NSW across the QLD border. 

    The QBA is continuing to consult with Biosecurity Queensland and it is our understanding that the interstate jurisdiction working group will be meeting to discuss this priority for the greater honey bee industry. 

    Heavy penalties are in place in both NSW and QLD if non-compliant activity is identified and potentially prosecuted. 

    We respect the increasing appetite to access breeder queens, queen bee consignments, and queen cells from NSW. Please be patient as the states agencies work through this matter. We have advocated for this matter to be the next priority for the interstate working group. As soon as agreement has been reached on the harmonisation of queen movements, the QBA will communicate all updates as a matter of priority to our members. 

    Braula fly and movement of hives and queens from Victoria 

    Queen bee breeders from Victoria and Queensland will be pleased to hear the temporary movement control order relating to the Braula fly detection in Victoria and the later announcement of the louse being declared 'endemic' has now been removed. 

    Biosecurity Queensland initiated a change in the regulations to the Biosecurity Act effective today. This change in the regulations reclassifies the louse from 'restricted matter' to 'notifiable pest' under the changes to the regulations. Beekeepers should already be familiar with requirements for reporting American Foul Brood to Biosecurity Queensland as it too is classified as a notifiable disease. 

    To report any notifiable pest or disease, please call 13 25 23.

    Media Release from Minister Mark Furner

    The news of the changes today was initially released via a media release from Minister Furner and the QBA. If you would like to read the release, please click here to download a copy.

    Again I extend my apologies for the lengthy nature of this email. The information contained in this email will be condensed into a document and posted to our Varroa Mite Portal for ease of access in the future. 

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I will endeavour to answer or direct you to the appropriate authority. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 01 February 2023 7:52 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the latest update relating to the response to varroa mite in NSW. 

    Late yesterday we received the news of 4 new infected premise detections, taking the total to 112 infected premises. Subsequently the NSW DPI Biosecurity Emergency Order has been updated to reflect these new locations. 

    If you wish to read the updated NSW DPI Biosecurity Emergency Order, please click here.

    AHBIC have prepared an update relating to the new detections and the current response operation. Please click here to read the update. 

    Yesterday representatives from the QBA met with representatives from DAF and Biosecurity Queensland as a part of our regular discussions relating to the response. We've been asked to remind any Queensland based beekeepers, with hives stranded in NSW to please make contact with Biosecurity Queensland or the QBA to discuss new permitting provisions that may enable the return of hives back to Queensland.

    Please contact either myself via my dedicated email address ( or Biosecurity Queensland 13 25 23 should you require any assistance.

    On a final note, the standard weekly update is currently being prepared and will be communicated as soon as the statistical data has been confirmed with the department. If you wish to read past updates please visit our varroa mite portal located on our members website.

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 27 January 2023 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    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 ( 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 17 January 2023 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Members, 

    Please find attached below the weekly update for the week ending 10 January 2023. 

    QBA Varroa Destructor Update to Members 10012023.pdf

    Kind regards, 

    Jo Martin 

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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