Second Varroa emergency zone extends into Victoria

29 August 2023

Varroa mite has been detected near Balranald in the NSW Riverina district which will impact beekeepers with hives in Victoria within the 25 kilometres surveillance emergency zone (SEZ) put in place by New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI).

This is the second emergency zone extending into Victoria, after the detection at Euston last week. Biosecurity (Varroa mite) Emergency Orders have been issued for both locations.

Victorian beekeepers within the surveillance emergency zones will not be allowed to move their hives into, within or out of the zones at this time

All other movements of bees, beehives, used beekeeping equipment and bee products into Victoria are being strictly regulated and will continue to require a permit. Permits will not be granted for queens, escorts and queen cells from NSW at this time and any permit granted will take into account the increased risk environment.

Victoria’s Chief Plant Health Officer Dr Rosa Crnov has confirmed that no Varroa mite has been found in Victoria.

The department is working to address concerns about bee health and reduced floral resources.

‘We understand that beekeepers are concerned about the situation and their hives. I reassure everyone that we are working on a resolution,” Dr Crnov said.

‘Beekeepers within the emergency zones and across Victoria should continue to be on the look out for Varroa and ensure their permits are up-to-date in the BeeMAX permit and reporting system.

Industry groups such as the Victorian Apiarists Association (VAA) and Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) are working alongside Agriculture Victoria with response efforts.

Varroa mite is a parasite of adult honey bees and honey bee brood. It weakens and kills honey bee colonies and can also transmit honey bee viruses.

For more information on Varroa requirements, reporting and permit applications, visit the Varroa page on the Agriculture Victoria website: Any suspected cases of Varroa should be reported to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Media contact: Lucy Hayes

Phone: 0437 762 668