Varroa mites have been detected in Townsville.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has movement restrictions for bee risk items following the detection of varroa mites on Asian honey bees in Townsville. To move restricted items, please refer to the Movement Control Order (PDF, 427.1KB), and familiarise yourself with the 10 km radius map (PDF, 440.4KB).
Report sightings of feral hives, Asian honey bees or hives showing symptoms in Townsville to 13 25 23.
Asian honey bees, Java strain, were first detected in Cairns in 2007. They are an adaptable bee species found throughout Asia and some islands of the Asia Pacific. This is a tropical strain and most likely came in via ship from Papua New Guinea or Indonesian Papua. They are established in far north Queensland and cannot be eradicated. Tools and resources have been developed to help the community and pest control industry with managing this pest bee.
Asian honey bees do not appear to be any more aggressive than other species but will still sting if confronted. They are a natural host for varroa mites which, if introduced, would pose a serious threat to the honey bee industry and crops that are dependant on European honey bees for pollination.
Be on the look out for suspect bees and check your vessel/vehicle and trailer before travelling long distances. Find out about the known infested area for Asian honey bees (PDF, 441KB).
Identifying Asian honey bees
Asian honey bees can be easily confused with common European honey bees. However, there are some distinguishing features to aid in identification
Images identifying flora in far north Queensland to which Asian honey bees are attracted.
Varroa mites are external parasites of honey bees and pose a serious threat to bees and commercial honey production. Report bee swarms at port locations
Report suspect bee sightings
Online submission form to report Asian honey bees including location and swarm characteristics.
- Asian honey bee information for pest management operators