Updated Movement Control Order for varroa mite and its carriers

News release | 15-Jul-2022

To allow low-risk honey products and equipment into Queensland while stopping varroa mite from entering, we have modified our Movement Control Order.

Biosecurity Queensland Chief Plant Health Manager Mike Ashton said the new Order freed up supply chain movement for honey products.

“We have identified processed honey products as low-risk, and importantly honey remains entirely safe for human consumption and is not affected by the mites,” he said.

Under the new Order, you can only move bees, bee hives, beekeeping equipment or bee products (including honey) to Queensland, if:

  • the carrier is processed honey or processed beeswax
  • it’s a new and unused apiary appliance
  • it’s a quarantine secured diagnostic honey sample for testing at a recognised diagnostic facility.

“Processed honey can only be transported in clean containers or packaging to avoid attracting bees,” Mr Ashton said.

“Bulk honey and processed beeswax can only be moved if it is packed in a facility that excludes bees and the outside of the container, and any frames, pallets and packaging are free from honey or beeswax.”

Mr Ashton said while some Queensland beekeepers had offered to help with the NSW response, they should be mindful that the Order prohibits used bee keeping equipment from being moved into Queensland.

“If you take your own equipment with you will need to apply for a permit to bring it back into Queensland,” he said.

“Instead of taking your own equipment, we recommend that Queensland beekeepers use local equipment in NSW that remains within the state.

“Any beekeeping equipment that has been used in NSW presents a real risk of bringing varroa mite into Queensland and may not be permitted re-entry.

Check hives and report results 

A new Bee 123 online form has been developed to help beekeepers checking their hives and reporting the results. 

If you suspect you have varroa mite: 

  • Take a photo. Place the mite (legs down, or legs up) on the tip of a cotton bud against a white background. 
  • Save the sample. Place the mite in a sealable container in the freezer 
  • Report it by calling 13 25 23.  

The Bee 123 online form is available through the Survey 123 app on the Apple App Store, website and ehub

Continue to monitor your hives and report unexpected hive deaths, deformed bees, parasites, poor brood patterns and dead brood to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or record results of assessments using the Bee 123 form

Apiarists who suspect a case of varroa mite should immediately call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or email info@daf.qld.gov.au.

Detailed information on how to check hives and report results can be found at daf.qld.gov.au/varroa and daf.engagementhub.com.au/varroa-mite.

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Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au