In June 2022 an infestation of varroa mites in Australia hit the headlines. Mites were found in a beehive in Newcastle near Sydney. Until then Australia was the only country to be free of varroa. It appears that native Australian bees are not affected by varroa mites.
Hives in the area were inspected and well established varroa was found in another apiary. It was suspected they had been in Australia for many months before being discovered. An eradication program was set in place and all beehives within the area were destroyed.
Eight months later and varroa mites are still being found in other areas in New South Wales. This does not look good for the effort to eradicate them completely.
At this stage there is no varroa miticide approved for use in Australia so if discovered in a hive that hive must be destroyed. Around 17,000 hives have been euthanized to date.
Will the authorities finally have to accept varroa mites in Australia and live with them as the rest of the world has learnt to?
For our Australian readers, check out our great New Zealand textbook, Control of Varroa by Mark Goodwin and Michelle Taylor. https://www.hiveworld.co.nz/product/control-of-varroa/ .
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