Beekeeping in Queensland

Varroa mite detection in Townsville

Suspect Varroa mites (Varroa jacobsoni) were detected on Asian honey bees at the Port of Townsville in May 2019.

Following the first detection of varroa mites on Asian honey bees in Townsville in June 2016, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries established the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program. No bees or varroa mites from this first Townsville detection have been found since November 2016.

Genetic testing of bee material from the May 2019 detection indicates a new incident, with these Asian honey bees likely to have arrived recently by vessel at the port.

Brisbane Biosecurity Science Laboratory have formally identified varroa mites from combs and bees collected from the nest.

Initial results by the CSIRO laboratory in Canberra indicate Varroa jacobsoni.

Moving live bees is restricted within the Townsville area. Please 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.