Port of Brisbane varroa mite detection

You must ensure all current hive locations and number of hives are:


On 19 February 2024, a single varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni) was found in a sentinel beehive at the Port of Brisbane.

More Varroa jacobsoni were found in a feral Asian honey bee nest nearby. This feral nest was destroyed. Testing showed this was a new, exotic incursion of Asian honey bee. None of these bees had exotic bee viruses.

Asian honey bees are the natural host for Varroa jacobsoni.

Varroa mite is a prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Movement control order

A movement control order (MCO) is in place to:

  • stop the movement of any varroa mite carrier out of the restricted area, with some exceptions
  • give Biosecurity Queensland time to conduct surveillance within the restricted area.

Movements into and within the restricted area are allowed.

The MCO is in effect from 31 May 2024.

Varroa mite carriers include:

  • apiary equipment
  • unprocessed honey
  • unprocessed beeswax
  • live bees.

Restricted area

The MCO applies to varroa mite carriers in these suburbs.

  • Ascot
  • Balmoral
  • Banyo
  • Belmont
  • Birkdale
  • Boondall
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Bulimba
  • Cannon Hill
  • Carina
  • Carindale
  • Chandler
  • Clayfield
  • Eagle Farm
  • Geebung
  • Gumdale
  • Hamilton
  • Hemmant
  • Hendra
  • Kalinga
  • Lota
  • Lytton
  • Manly
  • Manly West
  • Moreton Bay
  • Morningside
  • Murarrie
  • Northgate
  • Nudgee
  • Nudgee Beach
  • Nundah
  • Pinkenba
  • Port of Brisbane
  • Ransome
  • Shorncliffe
  • Thorneside
  • Tingalpa
  • Virginia
  • Wakerley
  • Wavell Heights
  • Wynnum
  • Wynnum West

View a map of these suburbs on the last page of the MCO.

If your hives are inside the restricted area you can:

  • enter the restricted area to care for your hives
  • contact Biosecurity Queensland at varroa@daf.qld.gov.au to ask for assistance with hive checks.

If you had hives or beekeeping equipment inside the restricted area but have moved them from the area after 22 November 2023, you are required to:

You will need to:

  • provide the location of the hives before and after the movement
  • keep movement records readily accessible and legible for 2 years after the movement starts and be able to produce them when requested by a biosecurity officer.

Complete a single-use record movement form for one-off movements of bees where a permit is not required.

Contact us online, by phone or in person to request a Movement and Apiary Record book for Queensland beekeepers if you regularly move bees or hives.

Items you cannot move

You cannot move these items out of the restricted area:

  • bees
  • bee hives
  • bee products (including unprocessed honey)
  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • used beekeeping equipment

With the exception of:

  • processed honey or processed beeswax
  • new and unused apiary appliances (e.g. hiveware tools, extraction equipment)
  • items being transported under quarantine secure conditions directly to an irradiation facility for treatment
  • used equipment, including hive tools, smokers, veils, gloves, boots and suits, that has been:
    • sealed and stored for 21 days prior to movement
    • or
    • sealed and frozen at less than -15°C for at least 72 hours then stored for at least 7 days at room temperature
  • honey supers or 'stickies' that have been frozen at less than -15°C for 72 hours or more, then stored in a quarantine secure manner for more than 7 days at room temperature
  • quarantine-secured diagnostic honey samples for testing at a recognised diagnostic facility
  • items originating from outside the MCO area and transiting along major roads through the localities in a quarantine-secure manner and not stopping in the MCO area.

When moving items out of the restricted area, it is strongly recommended that you implement a barrier system to avoid cross-contamination between apiary sites.

See the MCO for full details and definitions of what cannot be moved out of the MCO area.

Items you can move

You can move these items into or within the restricted area without a biosecurity instrument permit:

  • bees, including queens
  • bee hives
  • bee products
  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • used beekeeping equipment, including supers, feeders, smokers and bee suits.

Prior to the movement taking place you must report it to varroa@daf.qld.gov.au.

You must also ensure all hive locations are registered and updated on the Biosecurity entity registration portal.

If you are moving items from outside the MCO area to another location outside the MCO area, you can transit along the major roads in the MCO area provided that the items are moved in a quarantine-secure manner and you do not stop in the MCO area.

See the MCO for full details and definitions of what can be moved out of the MCO area.

What you need to do