Hive of activity leads to new restrictions

New restrictions being implemented on the movement of bees, hives and associated materials into South Australia from Victoria and Queensland to ensure consistency in cross border arrangements ahead of the forthcoming almond pollination season.

The new arrangements are now in effect, following consultation between the three states and New South Wales and are in line with restrictions being implemented by Queensland and Victoria. They are aimed at protecting the state from Varroa mite following the detection of the pest in New South Wales earlier this month.

Under the new arrangements, apiarists who need to move bees into South Australia from Victoria or Queensland will be required to apply for a permit.

As part of the new arrangements, apiarists seeking to move bees into South Australia from both states will need to prove their bees have not been in New South Wales in the past 12 months except under approved transitioning arrangements; they followed approved transit routes and transit safeguard arrangements and test 10% of their hives for Varroa mite before entry into South Australia.

These new arrangements are in addition to restrictions already imposed on the movement of bees, hives and associated materials into South Australia from New South Wales which have been in effect since July 4.

Such items cannot be brought intoSouth Australiafrom New South Wales without written permission of the Chief Inspector of Stock and apply to any such items that have been in New South Wales since January 1, 2022.

The movement of commercially processed honey, honey products, new apiary appliances (still in packaging) and hive components is allowed.

Permission by the Chief Inspector of Stock is still required for the movement of the following products into the state from New South Wales such as beeswax comb (including comb containing brood and honey); apiary products not covered by the commercial honey exemption; used beekeeping equipment and appliances, including beekeeping tools and plant, clothing, footwear, veils and gloves, hives and hive components; shipping containers that have contained any apiary products and vehicles used at apiaries or used to carry regulated articles.

Department of Primary Industries and Regions Executive Director Biosecurity Nathan Rhodes said the State Government was taking the Varroa mite situation in New South Wales very seriously.

“These revised and coordinated movement restrictions with Victoria and Queensland have been implemented to assist the almond industry with their pollination while balancing the need to protect South Australia from Varroa mite, considered the greatest threat to Australia’s honey and honey bee pollination plant industries,” he said.

“Bee biosecurity is key to protecting the industry from pests and diseases and every beekeeper has a responsibility to look after their hives.

“All beekeepers, whether commercial apiarist or recreational keepers, are urged to check their hives and sample for Varroa mite – a reddish-brown parasite of the European honeybee around 1mm in diameter.”

If you detect or suspect Varroa mite in your bees, email PIRSA.beebiosecurity@sa.gov.au or contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

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