Varroa and Asian honey bee surveillance program

Varroa mite on pupa

Varroa mite on pupa. (Image Anderson & Trueman, 2000) 

Biosecurity Queensland is implementing a quarantine and surveillance program within a 10km radius of the Townsville port after confirming detection of varroa mites (Varroa jacobsoni) in an Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) hive at the port.

The hive has now been destroyed. A check of the surrounding area has found no further Asian honey bees or their hives and traps, and sentinel hives that are already in place around the port as part of the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program have not collected any exotic bees or mite pests over the past two years.

Restrictions have been imposed on the movement of bees, bee hives, bee products (excluding honey), and used bee keeping equipment from the Townsville area to prevent any possible spread of the mite.

Varroa mites are a serious pest and a threat to the local honey bee industry. Certain species and strains can infest European honey bees, killing off hives and severely affecting honey production and pollination services. Asian honey bees are the natural host of this species of varroa mite.

If you know of feral bee hives in the Townsville area, or see Asian honey bees or suspect your bees have been affected, call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.  Ω

Posted 13 July 2016