Here is a copy of the official note from The NSW Department of Primary Industry
Varroa mite detected in beehives at the Port of Newcastle
25 June 2022
Re: Biosecurity (Varroa Mite) Emergency Order 2022 under the NSW
Biosecurity Act 2015
NSW Department of Primary Industries surveillance this week detected Varroa mite
(V. Destructor) in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle.
An emergency eradication program was immediately initiated and announced by the
Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders yesterday, once molecular testing had
confirmed the species identification.
A biosecurity control order was also put in place, banning the movement of hives
within a 50km radius of the infestation site and requiring beekeepers to report the
location of any hives within that zone.
NSW DPI has been working with apiary industry bodies and stakeholders since the
detection was first identified to ensure beekeepers are informed and empowered to
be part of this critical response.
This email is to further update all registered beekeepers of developments and what
is required under the Control Order.
Varroa mite biosecurity zone and what to do
Within the biosecurity zone:
no hives or bees can be moved
no honey or comb can be removed from hives
hives must not be tampered with unless directed by a NSW DPI officer
Beekeepers must also let NSW DPI know the location of all hives within the zone
completing the Report a biosecurity concern form;
emailing [email protected]; or,
calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline, 1800 084 881 (9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a
The eradication plan includes treatment of beehives within a 10 km emergency zone
around the infestation and inspection of managed and feral honey bee colonies
To check if your hives are within the biosecurity zone, visit
www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa and use the address finder on the interactive map.
Hives outside the biosecurity zone
If you have hives outside the 50 km biosecurity zone, please continue to inspect
them for signs of varroa mite or other pests, such as small hive beetle or American
Foul Brood, and report any concerns using the contact options listed above.
Varroa mites are tiny reddish-brown parasites and individual mites can easily be
seen with the naked eye.
NSW DPI thanks beekeepers for working side-by-side with government as part of
Australia’s early warning system to detect exotic honey bee pests, and the National
Bee Pest Surveillance Program, which includes surveillance hives and catch boxes
at strategic locations around our ports and airports.
Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite. If varroa
mite establishes here it could cost Australia’s honey industry more than $70 million
a year and adversely impact multibillion-dollar plant industries, which rely on bee
NSW DPI has more resources available via the following links:
Hive inspection techniques
Biosecurity and Food Safety
Locked Bag 21, Orange NSW 2800
NSW Department of Primary Industry