Blow for beekeepers

as Varroa Mite spreads

In a blow to local beekeepers and apiarists nine new cases of the deadly varroa mite have been detected on the Central Coast and in the Hunter.

17 March 2023


THE areas that have been identified by the Department of Primary Industries include, Glen William, Brookfield, Sawyers Gully, Yarramalong, and as far south as Horsfield Bay, Woy Woy, Koolewong, and Umina Beach.


These new detections will extend the red eradication zone meaning beehives and equipment in these areas will now have to destroyed.


Liesl Tesch, Member for Gosford, a keen apiarist herself, says that “The Varroa mite outbreak has been nothing short of devastating for the State’s honeybee population. The beekeeping community have been outstanding in their commitment and vigilance during this difficult time, especially during this latest outbreak”


“I urge them to keep up their diligence to help stop the spread of this outbreak.”


The Varroa destructor mite was first detected at the Port of Newcastle on Wednesday 22 June 2022. Since then, the total number of infected premises is 114 and counting.


“I understand people’s heartbreak over losing their bees as I will have to go through the same process myself because I am now in the red eradication zone.” Liesl said.


“I can however provide some reassurance that NSW Labor takes biosecurity seriously.


“Labor has committed to legislate and fund an NSW Biosecurity Commission. The commission will be headed by a new Biosecurity Commissioner who will provide independent advice to Government and will report to Parliament annually. The Commissioner will increase the visibility of biosecurity across Government and the community."


Help is available for registered Beekeepers, both recreational and commercial. If bees and hives have been euthanised and disposed of under the Varroa Mite emergency response, reimbursement is available.


There is also wellbeing support available through the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program Team (RAMHP) who can provide specialist knowledge and education and can link people to mental health support.


“I would urge any local beekeepers with questions about the Varroa Mite emergency response or to report detections to contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881 or visit the DPI website.

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