Emergency Varroa mite ordinance extended to include Port Stephens
The Varroa Emergency Zone has been extended from Newcastle Harbor to the Port Stephens Peninsula after three new infested premises were discovered.
Properties in Tanilba Bay, Salt Ash and Mayfield East are now among 16 areas confirmed with the parasitic disease infiltrating their hives.
“Further reports from beekeepers and investigations by NSW DPI officers have recently identified three further infestations in these locations,” said Dr Chris Anderson, Acting Plant Protection Officer for the NSW Department of Primary Industries. (NSW DPI).
“This means the Emergency Order has been updated to include the Port Stephens Peninsula within the 10km red eradication zone, where hives will be euthanized.
“NSW DPI biosecurity experts continue to act to protect the NSW beekeeping industry in conjunction with the beekeeping industry, local land departments, NSW Police, Rural Fire Service and the wider community as part of of the gigantic effort to stop the spread of the threat.
The NSW DPI continues to ask all people who have acquired bees (including queens, hives and hives with bees) within the 50km emergency notification area of Newcastle Port over the last 12 months to report them to help ensure business continuity for the beekeeping industry.
“Community reporting will help us in a big way to facilitate and free the movement of bees across the rest of New South Wales, particularly around almond pollination,” Dr Anderson said.
“The Varroa control plan has also been updated.
“Thus, while it remains necessary to euthanize bee colonies in eradication areas and destroy internal hive equipment such as brood and honey frames, other equipment will only be destroyed when a risk assessment will deem it necessary, with options to decontaminate external equipment such as hive boxes, pallets and straps as well as metalware, so that they can be retained by beekeepers.
“Beekeepers are reminded of the Group Permit which allows bees and hives affected by flooding within the current flood watch areas to be moved to a higher location on the premises, or if this is not possible , in the same emergency area.
“Once hives have been moved in accordance with this permit, they cannot be moved to their original location. Notification of any change of location should be made through the online Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa.
In the rest of New South Wales, no hives or bees can be moved.
More information is available from NSW DPI: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa
Notification of any change of location must be notified through the Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa
Online form: Declare the acquisition of bees
Current flood warnings which may impact emergency areas can be viewed at http://www.bom.gov.au/
If you are not in an area affected by the flood watch, you should not move bees or hives; significant penalties may apply under the Biosafety Act 2015 if you do.
Alien Plant Pest Helpline on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, 7 days a week).
Keep checking the FAQ www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa