Deadly mites threaten Australian bees

The deadly Varroa tick has been detected in New South Wales, Australia (NSW) in Newcastle Harbor, threatening the population of European honeybees and the lives of beekeepers.

Biosecurity surveillance first detected small, reddish-brown mites on June 22nd. However, hundreds of urticaria have been found to be infected and destroyed to prevent the spread of parasites.

“We immediately launched an eradication program that included the establishment of a biosecurity zone that included infected dust and euthanized bees,” New South Wales Agriculture Minister Dugard Sanders told the New South Wales Government. Said. release..

“Biosecurity is one of my top priorities, and beekeepers work with the government through a national bee pest monitoring program to act as an early warning system,” Saunders said.

“Without their diligence to monitor hives and catchboxes in strategic locations around our ports and airports, this threat might not have been detected.”

Beekeepers cannot move or tamper with urticaria, and multiple biosecurity zones have now been established around NSW that must be identified by the NSW Department of Primary Industry (DPI). The zone is 50km in size, with a 10km eradication zone and a 25km surveillance zone (authorities monitor and inspect bee hives within this area) around the location where the infected hive was identified.

DPI said in the department release They have identified 24 characteristics of tick-infestation so far.

“Australia is the only major honey-producing country without baroad mites, and the opportunity to establish it could cost the honey industry more than $ 70 million a year,” Saunders said. ..

Epoch Times Photo
Biosecurity surveillance has detected a small reddish-brown baroard mite at the Port of Newcastle. (Public domain)

Danger of Varroa

“Once the baroamite has settled in the state, it has serious consequences and we are taking all necessary precautions and measures to contain the parasites and protect the local honey industry and pollination,” Saunders said. .. Said..

“We are working with apiary industry groups and stakeholders to provide beekeepers with sufficient information to continue to support this important response.”

Varroa eats bees, spreads the virus that cripples bees, and prevents creatures from flying, pollinating, and harvesting food, which can cause serious damage to the country’s bee industry. I have.

“I would like to encourage all commercial and recreational beekeepers in the new or original affected areas to come forward for the benefit of the industry,” Saunders said. Said.

“We know that if this threat is not stopped, Varroa will have a devastating effect on our honey supply and pollination throughout the state.

“The best way is to report the location of the urticaria that may be affected and help respond. This will give you all the information you need to deal with it as quickly as possible.”

The Government of New South Wales provided cash compensation to commercial beekeepers for the destroyed hives to stop the spread, but there were some concerns about compensation for recreational beekeepers.

Epoch Times Photo
DPI has established a biosecurity zone where beekeepers cannot move or tamper with urticaria. (PollyDot / AIX)

Recreational beekeeper

The commercial and recreational classification is determined by the number of hives that the apiary (honey bee keeper) has. If it is less than 50, it is considered recreational.

Shane Julic is an amateur apiary based in Pitt Town, on the outskirts of Sydney, New South Wales, with 45 hives excluding him from the commercial classification. According to the Associated Press (AAP), Julic has offered compensation for recreational beekeepers’ hives that may have to be destroyed so that people can come forward if the hives become infected. He said it would motivate him.

“Human instinct is to protect your property, and if their livelihood or hobby is destroyed, someone may be willing to move forward,” Julic told AAP.

Mark Vanasiak, a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council on behalf of the Shooters, Fischer’s and Farmers Party, shared concerns that the economic consequences of losing a hive would free the infected hive from destruction.

“They are still at risk of this varroa,” Banasiak told AAP. “If they aren’t properly motivated to bring urticaria forward for testing, it can cause real problems for the industry.”

He said recreational beekeepers like Julic, who have a fairly large farm, could earn $ 60,000 a year from their hives and asked for a compensation rate per hives for recreational beekeepers. rice field. Djuric has offered compensation of about $ 500 per hive.

“It’s still a significant loss and it’s a blow to the economy,” Banasiak said. “It’s $ 60,000 he or she hasn’t returned to the economy.”

May 20th is World Bee Day
Varroa eat honeybees, spread the virus that cripples honeybees, and prevent creatures from flying, pollinating, or harvesting food. (Shaun Gallup / Getty Images)

Government response to Baroa

In an email to The Epoch Times, DPI Senior Communication Officer Sim Madigan said there was compensation for recreational beekeepers who lost their hives.

“Beekeepers who have lost their urticaria due to the Baroa epidemic and subsequent eradication will be reimbursed,” Madigan said. “The repayment amount requires national approval and will be notified in the near future.”

He said the details of the repayment and its potential impact on the commercial beekeeper’s compensation system will be determined through a response plan submitted for national review this week.

“The Department of Primary Industry in New South Wales said they are focused on the containment of baroad mites and the eradication of threats,” Madigan said.

However, the AAP reported that New Zealand beekeeper Barry Foster, who had experienced a barore outbreak in his country, unfortunately said that Australia would need an emergency response plan.

He said New Zealand beekeepers are currently in New South Wales and are unable to take care of their movements and urticaria, which only delays the spread of parasites rather than eliminates them. He also said that much of the struggle to contain Baroa in New Zealand was a human component.

“They found something like 12,000 unregistered urticaria … there were so many unregistered urticaria that should have been registered by law that they couldn’t contain it.” Foster told AAP.

In addition, Foster said Australia must address the threat posed by wild bee populations and the unintended movement of varroa.

“It may be out of your control. For example, there was a wild birdhouse in a hollow log in Auckland that was taken to Wellington … it contained Baroa.”

Lily Kelly


Lily Kelly is an Australian-based reporter of The Epoch Times, dealing with social issues, renewable energy, the environment, health and science.