Apis cerana & Varroa Jacobsoni in Townsville – Update No. 8

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An update as to where we are in Townsville.

There have been no more reports of Apis cerana or Varroa jacobsoni in Townsville.

Feral nests of Apis mellifera continue to be found, destroyed and, where possible, the nests sent down to Brisbane for examination for mites. So far no mites, as we would expect.

The Asian bees in Hyde Park are proving elusive. Beelining continues and with a bit of luck they will be found this coming week.

So far rainbow bee eater pellets have been negative for Asian bees.

I have just come back from a week in Townsville with the first of the industry volunteers. The main task for the volunteers is to teach the local beekeepers how to do sugar shakes, alcohol washes and drone uncapping. This is part of the monitoring for mites within the mellifera population. These beekeepers then can carry out the tests when required by the Queensland Department. Also some hives have been fitted with bottom boards that will allow the use of sticky mats and acaricide strips. More information in the AHBIC newsletter which will hopefully be out tomorrow.

As part of the work, using helium balloons with queen bee pheromone lures on them to then attract and trap drones were used. In the Hyde Park area, where that elusive nest is being sought, success in attracting and collecting drones was achieved. These drones will be used as part of genetic analysis. This proves this will be a useful tool in determining the presence of absence of Asian bees in an area.

The National Management Group (NMG) have scheduled Monday 12 September for a meeting. At this meeting the paper from the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) will be considered and the decision made about firstly moving into an eradication phase and secondly on the funding. AHBIC believes we will get a positive outcome.

Trevor Weatherhead
Executive Director
3 September, 2016