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Beekeeping in Queensland

Varroa mite detection in Townsville

Biosecurity Queensland officers working as part of the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program (NVMEP) are responding to a new incursion of varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni) found on a nest of feral Asian honey bees at the Port of Townsville on 28 April 2020.

Genetic testing indicates this Asian honey bee detection is not related to any previous incidents in Australia, including those in Cairns, or the subject of the current national eradication program underway in Townsville.

A prevention-and-control and a surveillance program under the Biosecurity Act 2014 remain in place following the detection of varroa mites on a colony of feral Asian honey bees at the Port of Townsville in May 2019.

The NVMEP is funded through a partnership between industry and government and commenced following detection of an Asian honey bee nest infested with varroa mite at the port in June 2016. Response activity implemented by Biosecurity Queensland since that time has wiped out that incursion.

The NVMEP is being led by Biosecurity Queensland and will continue until 30 April 2021.

Moving live bees is restricted within the Townsville area. Refer to the Prevention and Control Program (PDF, 3.7MB) and the map of the affected area (PDF, 366KB).

Report sightings of Asian honey bees or feral bee nests in Townsville to 13 25 23.

Honey bees produce honey and play a vital role in the balance of nature. Bees are especially important for pollinating agricultural and horticultural crops and the house garden.

Pollination is important for the viability of many pastoral enterprises, market gardens, orchards and seed industries. Honey bees are estimated to add $1.6 billion to the Australian agricultural and horticultural industries.

Following the best practices outlined in this guide will help you to meet the safety standards and minimum requirements of beekeeping in Queensland.

This guide explains what beekeepers need to do to meet their responsibilities to the community and the environment.