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Varroa mite surveillance stepped up

80,000 hives sent to almond plantations in southern New South Wales

The Victorian Government has been criticised for its tough stance on the movement of hives from NSW. However, the Varroa destructor mite was detected two months ago and has been found in 99 sites around NSW. Luckily, it hasn't yet escaped into the wild or been found in other states.

Eighty-eight government staff are staffing two surveillance sites in Griffith and Balranald to inspect hives as 90 beekeepers moved 80,000 hives to the region to pollinate the almond crop. Almost 1,000 permits have been issued to move the bees, and apiarists must do an online course through the Tocal agricultural college as part of the requirements.

Initially, the Victorian government banned bees from NSW from entering the Sunraysia region, but in July, it allowed up to 16,000 registered Victorian beehives stranded in southern New South Wales by the outbreak to return home and also allowed Queensland hives into the state for almond pollination. New South Wales bees are still banned from moving into Victoria, with the state's Chief Plant Health Officer Rosa Crnov saying the risk remained too high.


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