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. 

  • 04 July 2022 6:57 PM | Anonymous

    Please see today's final update from the NSW DPI Biosecurity team. 

    New infested premises linked to known cases

    New Varroa mite detections have been confirmed in Narrabri, Ferodale and Lambton.

    These cases are epidemiologically linked to previously known cases in the Newcastle area.

    This brings the number of emergency zones to a total of 19 infested premises. Close epidemiological links in all cases so far means  and the Apiary industry have a good opportunity to eradicate this biosecurity threat and stop the onset of the Varroa mite.

    Please also find a copy of the new Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order No.7 issued by the Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer of NSW. 

    I have again taken the liberty of attaching the new and updated map to the bottom of this email. 

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary


  • 03 July 2022 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    Varroa mite emergency order extended to include Port Stephens

    3 Jul 2022

    The properties at Tanilba Bay, Salt Ash and another at Mayfield East are part of 16 premises now confirmed to have varroa mite infiltrating their hives.

    “Further reporting by beekeepers and investigations by NSW DPI officers, has identified three varroa mite infestations at these properties,” Dr Anderson said.

    “This means that the emergency order has been updated to include the Port Stephens Peninsula within the red 10km eradication zone, where hives will be euthanised.

    “NSW DPI Biosecurity experts continue to act to protect the NSW Bee Industry in conjunction with the apiary industry, Local Land Services, NSW Police, Rural Fire Service and the wider community as part of the mammoth effort to arrest the spread of the threat.”

    Mr Anderson said the NSW DPI continues to ask all people who have acquired honeybees (including queen bees, nucleus hives and hives with honeybees) from within the 50km emergency notification zone of the Port of Newcastle in the last 12-months to report them to help ensure business continuity for the honeybee industry.

    “Community reporting will importantly help us facilitate and free up the movement of honeybees in the rest of NSW, especially around almond pollination,” Dr Anderson said.

    “The varroa mite response plan has also been updated so that while it remains necessary to euthanise honeybee colonies in the eradication zones and destroy internal hive equipment such as brood and honey frames, other equipment will only be destroyed when a risk assessment deems it necessary, with options to decontaminate external equipment such as hive boxes, pallets and straps as well as metal ware, so they can be retained by beekeepers.

    “Beekeepers are reminded of the group permit that allows flood-affected honeybees and hives in current flood watch areas to be moved to a higher location on premises, or if that’s not possible, within the same emergency zone.

    “After the hives have been moved as per this Permit, they cannot be moved back to the original location. Notification of any change in location must be notified by the Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa,” Dr Anderson said.

    Further Information:

    Throughout the remainder of NSW, no beehives or honeybees may be moved.

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

    Notification of any change in location must be notified by the Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

    Online form: Report honeybee acquisition

    Current flood warnings that may impact on the emergency zones can be sourced at http://www.bom.gov.au/

    If you are not in a flood watch affected area you must not move honeybees or hives; significant penalties may apply under the Biosecurity Act 2015 if you do.

    Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, 7 days a week).

    Continue to check FAQs www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

    Media contact: 02 6391 3686


  • 02 July 2022 5:40 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the latest update to the Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order 2022 (No.5) issued by the Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer. 

    Please find the new order attached below.

    I have also taken the liberty of attaching the updated varroa response map to the end of this email.


  • 02 July 2022 5:31 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the todays update from AHBIC attached below.

    Thank you for your efforts by supporting the QBA through the distribution of important industry updates.

    Kind regards,

    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary


  • 02 July 2022 12:15 PM | Anonymous

    Update from AHBIC  - 11am, 2nd July 2022.

    A quick update. Surveillance has been ramping up in the zones around Newcastle. The good news is that there still has not been any new identifications without direct links to the initial commercial beekeeper.

    Precautionary tracing and surveillance activities have commenced north of the Newcastle area focusing on direct contacts of the operation. So far initial survey work has resulted in NO detections which is great news. This work will continue over the weekend with the help of industry volunteers in the area.

    AHBIC has heard all the concerns about burning gear unnecessarily and we are working hard with the incident management team to find a practical solution. I will keep you updated when a plan to save gear is put in place.

    We have a large amount of miticide strips being airfreighted from New Zealand this weekend to ensure we have enough surveillance tools on the ground, with more enroute.

    AHBIC has been attending the cross border working group with good progress being made towards a permit system to allow beekeepers to got to Almonds. This group will meet again this week and I will update you with further progress.


  • 30 June 2022 9:42 PM | Anonymous

    Please find the latest update to the Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order 2022 (No.4) issued by the Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer. 

    Please find the new order attached below.

    I have also taken the liberty of adding the press release which accompanied the new order below. Please note this information has been taken directly from the NSW DPI website. I have also attached the map of the new zones to the bottom of this email. 

    New emergency zones effective for Varroa mite

    30 Jun 2022

    NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) has established another emergency zone south of Newcastle in response to confirmed detections of Varroa mite.

    Acting Chief Plant Protection Officer Chris Anderson said DPI had now established emergency zones around nine infested premises, including the new zone around a Calga property south of Newcastle which became effective today.

    “DPI has put significant measures in place to arrest the spread of the threat and is being assisted by the apiary industry, Local Land Services (LLS), NSW Police, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the wider community,” he said.

    “Since Varroa mite was first identified at the Port of Newcastle last week, NSW DPI has been working with apiary industry bodies and stakeholders to ensure beekeepers are informed and empowered to be part of this critical response.

    “So far many of the infested premises have been located very close together so the emergency zones covered largely the same areas but recent detections at Bulahdelah and Calga have expanded the area covered.”

    No bees or beekeeping equipment can be moved anywhere in NSW, and no honey or honeycomb removed from hives. Hives must not be touched unless conducting surveillance for Varroa mite or at the direction of an NSW DPI officer.

    Beekeepers within 50 km of infested premises must also notify NSW DPI of the location of all bees by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline, 1800 084 881, visiting www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa or emailing hive.location@emergency.dpi.nsw.gov.au.

    Eradication plans include destruction of honeybee colonies within a 10 km eradication zone around infested sites and inspection of managed honeybee colonies within a 25 km surveillance zone. Feral honeybee hives will be eradicated from the eradiation and surveillance zones.

    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

    Media contact: 02 6391 3686

    Statement Ends. 

    Thank you for your efforts today in sharing our updates through social media. Your continued support is assisting the QBA and Queensland Government to create awareness of the response program and promote greater awareness of the importance of a strong and healthy honey bee sector. 



  • 30 June 2022 9:26 PM | Anonymous

    Please see the today's update from AHBIC in relation to the response to the varroa destructor detection in Newcastle NSW. 

    We will continue our efforts to keep members and contacts of the association well informed with the situation on the ground. 

  • 30 June 2022 4:09 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier today, AHBIC communicated a call for assistance to the member bodies of AHBIC for additional volunteers to assist in the efforts on ground to support in the response to contain and eradicate varroa destructor. 

    Whilst we appreciate there will be some additional questions around volunteer support, it is the intention of AHBIC to initiate the process of collecting expressions of interest, supporting the efforts to contain and eradicate the mite, and providing much needed relief to the response team currently on the ground who've endured a long week already. 

    In addition to AHBIC's request we'd like to remind members that on Friday last week (24/06/2022), following on from the announcement made at the QBA state conference of the detection of the mite, our management team put out a call to action for any members wishing to make an expression of interest (EOI) to join the 'Queensland Response Team'. 

    We've now compiled the list of individual beekeepers who are ready to respond and represent the QBA Response Team.  but are keen to explore if there is anyone else who'd like to assist the QBA and the national response efforts.

    • In order to have your name added to the QBA Response list, you must be a current/paid financial member of the QBA. This is for insurance purposes only. 
    • If you would like to add your name to the list, please email biosecurity@qbabees.org.au with your full name, email address and mobile contact number. 

    The QBA Management team plan to retain this list of interested beekeepers should the need arise to stand up our own state response team. 

    Finally, we'd like to express our sincere thanks to those members who've already made an EOI at the conference. Please note you may be contacted in due course. 

    Our thanks again to our members for their support in the national effort to stamp out varroa.

    Kind regards,


    Jo Martin 

    QBA State Secretary

  • 30 June 2022 4:07 PM | Anonymous

    As advised in a recent email, I have been working behind the scenes to get a QBA portal up and running to support our members and industry colleagues, access on time and factual information directly relating to the detection of varroa destructor on the 22nd of June 2022 in the Port of Newcastle, NSW. 

    We encourage you to visit this dedicated area of the QBA members website by clicking on the link below. We also strongly suggest you save the website to your favourites in the web browser of your preferred digital device.  All information will be updated to this portal for ease of access to all information. 

    Our management team have made the decision to make the portal available to the public in order to assist in communicating important messages to the broader beekeeping sector. 


    The QBA management team is going to great lengths behind the scenes, working with the Queensland Government, AHBIC, the NSWAA to support the national effort to contain and eradicate varroa destructor, whilst protecting Queensland from the mite. 


    We sincerely thank our members for their continued support of the QBA as the industry body for beekeeping in Queensland, protecting the interests and welfare of our members and greater industry.

    We strongly encourage apiarists who are not already a member of the QBA to consider completing an application for membership by visiting our website application portal.

    Click here to sign up as a QBA member and support the industry body who supports you.

    Jo Martin, QBA State Secretary. 

  • 30 June 2022 4:03 PM | Anonymous

    In addition to our last email, the QBA is pleased to advise the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAF) have created a dedicated information engagement hub (E-hub) that will serve as a portal to support our industry through this next chapter as we collectively play our part to eradicate varroa destructor.

    We strongly encourage all QBA members, clubs and broader beekeeping community colleagues to access the E-hub and complete a registration to use this purpose built portal. The portal provides all of the key information and updates in respect to the Queensland response efforts and the national efforts to eradicate varroa destructor from our shores.

    To access the E-hub please use the following link:

    We require the continued support of our members, clubs and contacts to continue sharing our important updates with industry. Please feel free to share this email with anyone you believe would benefit from information contained within the portal.

    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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