South Australia hive of activity

South Australia hive of activity

South Australian beekeepers with 20 or more hives are being called on to play their part in protecting the state from Varroa mite by sampling 10% of their hives per apiary.

Sampling hives gives PIRSA and the industry confidence the state is free of Varroa mite and protects apiary businesses and associated pollination-dependent industries.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) is offering free sampling kits at a series of upcoming workshops across the state.

At the workshops, beekeepers will receive their sampling kits, learn how to sample for Varroa mite and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Workshops will be held in Mount Gambier on November 22, Naracoorte on November 23 and Keith on November 24 with locations yet to be determined.

PIRSA will cover the costs of sample container delivery and return sample processing.

Beekeepers need to register to attend the workshops so PIRSA can organise enough sampling kits for attendees in advance.

Visit to register to attend a workshop by November 16.

Beekeepers are reminded that restrictions continue to be in place for moving bees, hives and associated apiary products, including queen bees from NSW, Victoria and Queensland into South Australia.

Beekeepers need to apply for a permit to import queen bees into SA from Victoria and Queensland with testing, inspection and documentation requirements to be followed.

Movements from NSW are not permitted.

SA Varroa Response Program Manager Paul Dowsett said to protect South Australian apiarists and pollination-dependent industries, it was critical that Varroa mite surveillance and movement controls continued.

“Beekeepers and apiarists need to step up and play their part in surveillance by sampling for Varroa mite, to protect their business and industry,” he said.

“It is a requirement for beekeepers to register with PIRSA and sample their hives regularly.

“The more hives that are sampled, the more confident we are that SA is free of Varroa mite.

“Movement restrictions are necessary for us to maintain a high level of biosecurity as we continue to protect South Australian industries.”

Honey production value was estimated at $13m in 2020-21.

Anyone noticing signs of Varroa mite, including weak hives, should call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

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