Which diseases of bees must be notified
Note Number: AG0763
Published: July 2003
Updated: March 2019
Early recognition of a honey bee pest or disease is one of the most important factors influencing the chance of controlling an outbreak and reducing its economic and social impact on the community.
There are several bee pests and diseases that have been declared as notifiable diseases under the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994. This means you are legally required to notify Agriculture Victoria if you know of or suspect the presence of one of the following pests or diseases.
Which exotic pests and diseases must be reported immediately?
The following pests and diseases do not occur in Australia:
- Africanised bees
- Tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi)
- Tropilaelaps mite (Tropilaelaps clarae)
- Varroa mite (Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni).
- Acute bee paralysis virus (Cripavirus)
- Africanised bees
- Aphid lethal paralysis virus strain
- Apis iridescent virus (iridovirus)
- Deformed wing virus (iflavirus)
- Egypt bee virus
- Lake Sinai virus - strains 1 and 2
- Large hive beetle (Hoplostoma fulgineus)
- Phorid fly (Apocephalus spp. incl A. borealis)
- Slow Bee Paralysis Virus
If you suspect or know of the presence of one of these pests or diseases, you must report it immediately by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline: 1800 084 881 (24 hours a day, every day of the year).
Which pests and diseases must be reported within 12 hours?
- American foulbrood disease
- Braula fly (Braula coeca)
If you suspect any of these diseases, you must notify one of the following Apiary Officers:
Joe Riordan - Ph 02 6030 4516, Mobile 0417 348 457.
Daniel Martin - Ph: 03 5430 4621, Mobile 0428 752 449.
Jessica Millar - Ph 03 5036 4810, Mobile 0447 245 558.
Nikki Jones - Ph: 03 5430 4340, Mobile: 0428 617 071
Which diseases must be reported within 7 days?
- Chalk brood disease
- European foulbrood disease
- Nosema (Nosema apis).
If you suspect any of these diseases, you must also notify one of the Apiary Officers from the list above.
However, you do not need to report the disease listed in this category if, within 7 days of knowing or suspecting the presence of the disease, your bees have been attended by an Agriculture Victoria Apiary Officer, or if appropriate diagnostic specimens obtained from the bees are submitted to a registered diagnostic laboratory.
When an Apiary Officer attends an apiary, the inspector must report the suspicion or presence of disease. Where specimens are submitted to a registered diagnostic laboratory, the laboratory becomes responsible for reporting.
These arrangements prevent multiple reporting and recording of disease incidents.
Who is obligated to report a notifiable bee pest or disease?
Any person who knows of or suspects that a notifiable pest or disease is present in bees, bee hives, components of bee hives or bee products:
- owned by that person or in the possession, control or charge of that person;
- on land owned and occupied by that person; or
- dealt with by that person as a veterinary practitioner, an inspector under the Export Control Act 1982, the owner or person in charge of premises registered as a diagnostic laboratory, or
- any other person dealing with bees, bee products or hives by way of a profession, trade or business.
How long must records relating to pests and diseases be kept?
Beekeepers and veterinary practitioners who report the presence of a notifiable bee pest or disease must keep any documents that support the suspicion of, or presence of that pest or disease for a period of 7 years from the time the presence of the disease was identified.
Confidentiality of information
All notifications to the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions are dealt with in the strictest confidence unless the owner authorises the release of the information. Information about the disease status of a property or hives can only be released if the Secretary of the Department determines that the release of the information is in the public interest, for example if public health or international trade is compromised.
The early detection of exotic pests and diseases is extremely important and any bees or honey bee brood with unusual signs should be reported to the nearest Apiary Officer.
There are no Government charges for exotic or endemic disease investigations, including negative diagnoses.
Information on the field diagnosis of exotic and endemic honey bee pests and diseases may be obtained from the following Agricultural Notes: