Varroa mite – current situation

Victorian Control Area

Victoria is free of Varroa mite. Restrictions are in place limiting the movement of bees into and within Victoria.

An Order declaring Victoria as a Control Area is now in place to prevent the exotic Varroa mite from coming into Victoria from New South Wales (NSW). Anyone seeking to move bees, hives, used beekeeping equipment and bee products, including pollen and honeycomb into Victoria from NSW must obtain a permit.

A permit is also required to move bees, hives, used beekeeping equipment and bee products into Victoria from another state or territory if they have been in NSW at any time after 1 January 2022.

These movement restrictions will also apply to any other state or territory that has declared the presence of Varroa mite.

No permits will be granted for applications seeking movement from NSW.

This does not include processed honey and wax and new beekeeping tools and equipment which can be transported within Victoria and from interstate.

Agriculture Victoria has assessed the proposed idea of creating a ‘bee border bubble’. However, the risk is too high and Victoria will not be granting permits to NSW beekeepers at this time.

Sunraysia region restrictions

In addition, anyone seeking to move bees, beehives, beekeeping equipment and bee products into Victoria’s Sunraysia region, from within Victoria or from another state, must obtain a permit. This measure has been put in place ahead of Victoria’s almond pollination season. This applies to all Victorian and interstate beekeepers.

Applications for permits into the Sunraysia region are currently being assessed for bees and hives already in Victoria.

Permits are also being issued to beekeepers from South Australia (SA) and Queensland (Qld) to help ensure bees can be sourced for Victoria’s valuable almond pollination.

Permits will only be granted if strict conditions are met, including testing hives for Varroa mite 14 days before consignment using sugar shake test (VIC and SA only – not accepted from QLD), alcohol wash test, drone uncapping or brood uncapping inspection, making records, marking inspected hives to name a few.

For conditions, see the FAQ ‘What are the permit conditions for entering the Sunraysia region?

A permit is required if you already have bees in the Victorian Sunraysia region. The permit system is about traceability. If Varroa mite is detected in the Victorian Sunraysia region, we will need to contact you. Having a permit on display at your site will ensure you will receive any important communication.

No permits will be granted for movements from NSW at this time. The situation in New South Wales is being monitored, and as the risk eases Victoria will reconsider permit applications from beekeepers there.

Bee movement permits - Sunraysia

Read more

Map showing sunraysia region of Victoria on the Victorian side of the Murray river, extending from Nyah in the south to the South Australian border

Order declaring a control area (PDF - 237.6 KB)

Order declaring a control area (WORD - 605.2 KB)

New South Wales situation

Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) was reported in sentinel hives at the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW) on Friday 24 June 2022.  The detection was the result of routine surveillance on sentinel hives by NSW Bee Biosecurity Officers.

Further surveillance has identified private hives in NSW which are also positive.

Restrictions on beehive movements are now in place across NSW.

Report Varroa mite

Report any suspect Varroa mite or any other plant pest or disease immediately to the national Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or make a report via our online form with photo (where possible). Early reporting increases the chance of effective control and eradication.

Report online

Further information

If you require any assistance with your permit application, please email Honeybee.Permits@agriculture.vic.gov.au or phone the Customer Service Centre on  136 186.

Frequently asked questions

Our FAQs are updated as the response continues.

Frequently asked questions
Page last updated: 10 Aug 2022