Notifiable bee pests and diseases

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.

Exotic pests and diseases that must be reported immediately

The following pests and diseases do not occur in Australia.

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).

  • African bees
  • Tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi)
  • Tropilaelaps mite (Tropilaelaps clarae)
  • Varroa mite (Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni).
  • Acute bee paralysis virus (Cripavirus)
  • Africanised bees (Apis mellifera scutellata)
  • 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

Exotic bees:

  • black dwarf honey bee (Apis andreniformis)
  • red dwarf honey bee (Apis florea)
  • giant Philippine honey bee (Apis breviligula)
  • Asian honey bee (Apis cerana)
  • giant honey bee (Apis dorsata)
  • Cape honey bee (Apis mellifera capensis)
  • African honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata)
  • bumblebee (Bombus spp.)
  • hornet (Versa spp.)

Pests and diseases that must be reported within 12 hours

  • American foulbrood disease
  • Braula fly (Braula coeca)

If you suspect any of these diseases, you must notify an apiary officer, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or email honeybee.biosecurity@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Diseases that must be reported within 7 days

  • Chalkbrood disease
  • European foulbrood disease
  • Nosema (Nosema apis)

If you suspect any of these diseases, you must notify an apiary officer, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or email honeybee.biosecurity@agriculture.vic.gov.au

However, there are exceptions to prevent multiple reporting and recording of disease incidents.

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 (when an apiary officer attends an apiary, they must report the suspicion or presence of disease)
  • appropriate diagnostic specimens obtained from the bees are submitted to a registered diagnostic laboratory (where specimens are submitted to a registered diagnostic laboratory, the laboratory becomes responsible for reporting)

How to report the presence of a notifiable pest or disease

To report the presence of a notifiable bee pest or disease listed here, or if you require further information, please contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline: 1800 084 881 (24 hours a day, every day of the year) or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or email honeybee.biosecurity@agriculture.vic.gov.au

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

Record keeping relating to pests and diseases

Beekeepers and vets 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.

Records must be kept for a period of 7 years from the time the presence of the disease was identified.

Confidentiality of information

All notifications to the department 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.

Disease investigations

The early detection of exotic pests and diseases is extremely important and bees or honey bee brood with unusual signs should be reported to your apiary officer.

There are no government charges for exotic or endemic disease investigations including negative diagnoses.

Further information

Information on the field diagnosis of exotic and endemic honey bee pests and diseases:

Page last updated: 13 Jul 2020