Update: varroa mites found in Annandale Asian honey bee hive

Laboratory examinations of an Asian honey bee hive found at Annandale [QLD] this week have confirmed the presence of varroa mites.

Biosecurity Queensland’s Dr Ashley Bunce, Director, Varroa  Mite Response said initial examinations found no mites on the bees, but a  single mite had today been identified within the comb taken from the hive.

“The hive was  in a residential yard about nine kilometres from where the previous hive was  found at the Port of Townsville,” he said.

“As a result  of this confirmation, we are now increasing our surveillance activities in and  around the Annandale area.

“By the end  of this week, we expect that laboratory testing will confirm whether there are  any more mites and if the Asian honey bees found at Annandale are related to  the original hive found at the Port of Townsville.

“We continue  to urge local residents to check their yards and let us know if they see any  bee activity.”  

Dr Bunce said  the current varroa mite response was initiated after a feral Asian honey bee  hive was found last month at the Port of Townsville.

“Those bees  were carrying a small number of varroa mites which present a real threat to the  honey bee industry and plant industries that rely on bees for pollination,” he  said.

“While these  mites are not the more serious Varroa destructor, we are taking this  incident very seriously and putting every effort into ensuring they are  eradicated.

“There are  currently restrictions 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.”

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

Information about bee  biosecurity, hive care, and photos that will help you identify varroa mite, are  available at www.beeaware.org.au  

For  information on Asian honey bees visit www.daf.qld.gov.au

Follow Biosecurity Queensland on Facebook and  Twitter (@BiosecurityQld).


Media contact: Mark Hodder, 3087 8598