Agriculture Victoria has not detected any varroa mite within the state and has strong protections in place guarding against a future outbreak. The Control Area Order continues to restrict hive movements into Victoria, as part of the response strategy guided by expert advice and scientific evidence.
Victoria’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr Rosa Crnov said that while operations have ramped up since the Euston and Balranald detections in August of this year, Victoria has been responding to varroa mite since it was first detected in NSW last year. When NSW initially detected varroa mite in June last year, we quickly deployed an Incident Management Team to protect Victoria’s borders.”
“Even after the initial urgent work had subsided, the response effort carried on with our dedicated project team continuing the work to ensure our state’s bees remained varroa-free including planning for potential detections in the future.”
“This work meant we were prepared in the event varroa was detected closer to our border and could act swiftly to help keep varroa out of Victoria,” Dr Crnov said.
Following the recent detections in southern NSW, Victoria has issued 146 permits to allow beekeepers to safely move out of the Surveillance Emergency Zones before the completion of almond flowering.
Significant surveillance was conducted last year to provide assurance that Victoria was free of varroa, with more than 5000 hives inspected, 83,000 hives in Sunraysia checked for certification and 52,000 permitted to move.
Agriculture Victoria will be doing more surveillance over coming weeks and months, particularly on beehives that have been moved out of the Sunraysia region.
Dr Crnov said it is critical that beekeepers and industry continue to work with government to keep Victoria varroa free.
“The most important thing right now is that beekeepers report any hive movements and regularly test their bees for varroa.”
“The current pause on processing permits from NSW remains in place and this will continue until the risks associated with the recent detections in NSW are assessed.”
“We would like to thank beekeepers and industry for their continued compliance and patience during a challenging period,” Dr Crnov said.
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