Varroa mites have been detected in Townsville.
Following the detection of varroa mites on Asian honey bees in Townsville in June 2016, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has established the National Varroa Mite Eradication Program. Restrictions apply to the movement of live bees within the Townsville area. Please refer to the Prevention and Control Program (PDF, 3.6MB) and the map of the affected area (PDF, 365.2KB).
Report sightings of Asian honey bees or feral bee nests 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. 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 they became established in Australia, have the potential to significantly damage our bee industry, disrupting both honey production and pollination services.
Be on the lookout 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 in far north Queensland (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
You might spot Asian honey bees on some of these floral resources.
Varroa mites are external parasites of honey bees and pose a serious threat to bees and commercial honey production. Report feral bees.
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