Help protect our bees - your questions answered

Look, report, protect from varroa mite

This eHub provides information and resources to support beekeepers and the bee industry to keep your hives safe. It is regularly updated. You can also stay informed by subscribing to our eNews and eAlerts.

Use our Bee 123 online form to report any checks you have made on your hives, even if you do not find any suspect mites.

Moving bees into Queensland

A new movement control order is in place as of 8 August 2022

Queensland movement control orders updated

An updated movement control order came into effect on 22 July 2022 and replaces the previous movement control orders that commenced on 14 July 2022 and 30 June 2022. 

Almond pollination season to proceed

Victoria has established protocols to allow Queensland bees to be permitted to travel to Victoria to assist with Almond pollination.

Report your results

Use our Bee 123 online form to report any checks you have made on your hives, even if you do not find any suspect mites.

3 ways to check your hives for varroa mites

This information explains 3 ways to check your hives for varroa mites, and how to make a shake jar.

Current situation

Varroa mite (varroa destructor) has been detected in New South Wales (NSW).

An updated movement control order came into effect on 22 July 2022 and replaces the previous movement control orders that commenced on 14 July 2022 and 30 June 2022.

About the order

Low-risk honey products and equipment are allowed into Queensland while stopping varroa mite from entering.

Under the 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 is a new and unused apiary appliance
  • it is 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.

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.

Bees, hives, bee products and equipment can continue to be moved within Queensland. In NSW, there is a state-wide standstill of all bees, hives, apiary equipment and untreated bee products.

A permit system has been established to move bees, hives, used beekeeping equipment and bee products (including honey) into Queensland from NSW under certain circumstances. Apply for a biosecurity instrument permit.

Use the links below for information about current state/territory restrictions:

Movement of equipment into Queensland

Beekeepers should be mindful that the movement control order prohibits used bee keeping equipment from being moved into Queensland.

It is recommended Queensland beekeepers use local equipment in NSW that remains within the state rather taking their own equipment.

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.

Biosecurity requirements and reporting 

If you own or keep at least one hive, you must register as a biosecurity entity. Registration is free for non-commercial beekeepers. Native bee hives do not need to be registered.

All beekeepers should monitor their hives and immediately report unexpected hive deaths, deformed bees, bees with parasites, poor brood patterns and dead brood to Biosecurity Queensland.

Call us on 13 25 23 or email us.

Report the health of your hives

Queensland beekeepers can now use the Bee 123 form on the Survey 123 app to help keep the destructive varroa mite out of Queensland.

Even if suspect mites are not found, information from the Bee 123 form will be used to understand the number and health of beehives in Queensland, and to demonstrate the state remains free of the pest.

Regular surveillance and reporting through the Bee 123 form will be crucial to keeping Queensland free of varroa mite and protecting our vital agribusinesses.

Watch our webinar on how to check your hives and report your results using the Bee 123 online form.

Background

Varroa mite (varroa destructor) was detected in honey bee hives at the Port of Newcastle on Wednesday 22 June 2022. The detection was the result of routine surveillance on sentinel hives by NSW Bee Biosecurity Officers.

On 26 June, a Biosecurity Emergency Order was enacted in New South Wales for a statewide standstill of all bees, hives, apiary equipment and untreated bee products.

Varroa destructor attacks European honey bees (Apis mellifera) (EHB) and is considered the greatest threat to Australia's honey and honey bee pollination plant industries.

More information

For movement control orders by state/ territory, visit:

* Restrictions already in place prior to New South Wales varroa mite incursion

Other useful links: