26 September 2023

Bee mite threat prompts movement clampdown

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Biosecurity Queensland has issued a new Movement Control Order halting the shifting of bees or bee hives into Queensland from anywhere in Australia without a permit.

Chief Plant Health Manager at Biosecurity Queensland, Mike Ashton said the order had been made to ensure Queensland’s valuable honeybee industry and recreational beekeepers remained free from the threat of varroa mite.

“Anybody wanting to bring bees or bee hives into Queensland, including returning bees that originated here, will need to apply for a permit prior to entry,” Mr Ashton said.

“Processed honey or processed beeswax, new or unused apiary appliances, and quarantine-secured diagnostic honey sample for testing at a recognised diagnostic facility, can continue to enter Queensland without restriction.”

He said it was important to continue to protect Queensland bees, which in turn would also help protect the long-term future of pollination-reliant industries.

“Beekeepers should continue to monitor their hives and report unexpected hive deaths, deformed bees, parasites, poor brood patterns and dead brood to Biosecurity Queensland,” Mr Ashton said.

“If you suspect you have found a varroa mite, take a photo,” he said.

“Place the mite (legs down, or legs up) on the tip of a cotton bud against a white background.”

He said the sample should then be placed in a sealable container in a freezer and reported to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

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