Queensland restricts movement to keep varroa mite out of the state

Richard Dinnen - Queensland Editor |

Varroa mite
Varroa mite

Queensland will restrict movement of bees, hives, and honey from New South Wales due to an escalating outbreak of varroa mite in parts of that state.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development, Mark Furner, said a control order will restrict movement of bees, hives, honey, and other bee products, and used bee keeping equipment from New South Wales into Queensland.

“Biosecurity Queensland is taking this action to protect the state’s bee industry from varroa mites which pose a serious risk to honey production and pollination services.

“New South Wales has taken swift action to restrict the spread of varroa mite, however if control measures fail and varroa mite enters Queensland, there are limited options for eradicating it.

“No effective natural enemies of varroa mite exist and I urge everyone with an interest in keeping varroa mite out of Queensland to make themselves familiar with the Movement Control Order.”

Victoria and South Australia have imposed similar restrictions, following the detection of varroa mite in Newcastle last week. More than 600 hives have been destroyed in NSW so far.

Australia was thought to be free of varroa mites, a tiny parasite that is a major threat to European bees. It was detected in a Newcastle port facility but has since been found in hives 100 kilometres away.

The outbreak is a significant threat to the honey industry and food production. About one third of Australia’s food production relies on bee pollination, including almonds, apples, and avocadoes. Mr Furner said bees, hives, bee products and equipment can continue to be moved within Queensland but cannot be brought