Please contact Biosecurity 13 25 23 if you see bee swarms or unusual bee activity
April 2007 was a significant day for beekeepers in Australia. It saw the first arrival of the Asian honeybee in Australia – Cairns in far north Queensland to be exact – a mere 350km up the road from Townsville. An established nest was identified by local beekeepers in May that year and destroyed by Biosecurity Queensland. By the end of 2007, five nests were detected and destroyed and within four years 486 nests were destroyed. These statistics are testimony to the awesome dispersal capacity of this species. At least three further incidents of the accidental arrival through the port of Townville are known, the most recent in March 2014. Thankfully all three were detected and destroyed before becoming established.
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 Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.
Information about bee biosecurity, hive care, and photos that will help you identify varroa mite is here.
See this site for theexclusion zone for movement of bees and bee products currently in pace: ttps://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/384427/Townsville-bee-detection-June-2016-10km-movement-order-most-recent.pdf
Reproduced from a biosecurity alert issued by Biosecurity Queensland.
Asian honey bees will be hard for ordinary people recognise unless they are quite familiar with European honey bees. While they have the same shape, the Asian honey bee on the left is much smaller than the European honey bee on the right.
Please contact Biosecurity 13 25 23 if you see bee swarms or unusual bee activity. Asian Honey Bees carrying Varroa mite have been detected in our region.