Biosecurity zones expanded to stop Varroa
NSW Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders has encouraged beekeepers to be aware of their responsibilities under expanded biosecurity zones which have come into force as part of the emergency biosecurity response to Varroa mite.
Minister Saunders said NSW Department of Primary Industries biosecurity officers had now traced a total of 7 infested premises, including the initial detection at sentinel hives near the Port of Newcastle.
“A new report of an infected property in the Bulahdelah area has been identified resulting in another 10km Eradication Zone being established,” Minister Saunders said.
“Critically, these new infested premises are directly linked to a previously identified property which shows the prompt and efficient response by the NSW DPI is working well.”
Minister Saunders said DPI had put significant measures in place to arrest the spread of the threat and was being assisted in the field by Local Land Services (LLS) and NSW Police
“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,” he said.
“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 bee hives can currently be moved within NSW, and no honey or honeycomb can be harvested.
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