There are currently no restrictions on the movement of hives within Queensland. However, the situation in relation to varroa mite is being reviewed regularly to assess what restrictions may be needed to protect Queensland industries.
You can move processed honey or processed beeswax, a new or unused apiary appliance, or a quarantine secured diagnostic honey sample for testing at a recognised diagnostic facility. Where processed honey and beeswax is being transported the container must be clean on the outside to avoid attracting bees.
These carriers are defined as follows in the movement control order:
- Bee means European honey bee (Apis mellifera) or Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) of any life stage, including a dead bee.
- Swarm means a group of bees, either European honey bee or Asian honey bee, that has left a hive or a nest with a queen bee to start a new colony.
- Nest means a natural shelter for bees and includes the bees, either European honey bee or Asian honey bee, i.e. a feral nest, including abandoned nests.
- Hive means a used receptacle for housing living bees.
- Apiary appliance means any apparatus or equipment, fitting, implement or utensil that has been used for beekeeping or processing, handling or storing an apiary product, including (without limitation) apiary or beekeeping personal protective equipment.
- Apiary product means bee collected pollen, bee comb, comb sections, cut comb, honey dew, propolis, queen candy, beeswax, royal jelly and honey.
Bees, hives and other carriers will continue to be allowed to enter Queensland from other states that are deemed to be free from varroa. Bees, hives and other carriers cannot be transited through New South Wales (NSW) unless the person is a registered beekeeper and has a copy of the biosecurity emergency permit issued by NSW.
Used bee hives, honey supers, unprocessed bee products (including honey and beeswax) and used bee keeping equipment originating from NSW cannot be moved into Queensland until further notice.
Varroa mites are external parasites of adult honey bees, as well as drone and worker brood. Adult female varroa mites may be seen on larvae, pupae and adult honey bees, while juvenile and adult male varroa mite can usually be seen on larvae and pupae.
- curved, pinhead-sized mite
- adult females are reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped, with body 1–1.7mm long and 1.5–1.99mm wide
- adult males are yellowish, spherical, with body 0.75–0.98mm long and 0.70–0.88mm wide
- may be seen on thorax or nestled into abdominal folds of adult bees
- obligate parasites of honey bees and do not survive for long away from a host.
Varroa destructor is a tiny parasite that attaches itself to honey bees and honey bee brood. It affects Asian honey bees and European honey bees and is considered the greatest threat to Australia's honey and honey bee pollinated plant industries.
There are two species of varroa mite, Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni. Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) has been detected in New South Wales.
Varroa mite can cause scattered brood, crippled and crawling honey bees, impaired flight performance, a lower rate of return to the colony after foraging, a reduced lifespan and a significantly reduced weight of worker bees.
Colony symptoms, commonly called parasitic mite syndrome, include an abnormal brood pattern, sunken and chewed cappings and larvae slumped in the bottom or side of the cell. This ultimately causes a reduction in the honey bee population, supersedure of queen bees and eventual colony breakdown and death.
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 on 13 25 23.
If you own or keep at least one hive, you must register as a biosecurity entity. Registration is free for non-commercial beekeepers and native bee hives do not need to be registered.
In Queensland, if you suspect varroa mite in your hive, call 13 25 23 to report it.
You can also dwnload the Bee 123 App
Alternatively, use our online form to report any checks you have made on your hives, even if you do not find any suspect mites.
We use this information to understand the number and health of beehives in Queensland. This helps us prepare in case varroa mite enters Queensland.
No, native bees are not included in the Movement Control Order. Varroa mite affects Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) and European honey bees (Apis mellifera).
No, varroa mites affect honey bees, they do not affect native bees.
No, people and organisations with native beehives do not need to report them.