After 15 months of hard work by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and all involved in the combat against to varroa mite, it has become clear that it is impossible to keep ahead of the spread of the pest. That is why the National Varroa mite Emergency Response has reached a decision to shift the focus of the response from eradication to transitioning to management of the varroa mite.
The aim of the transition to a management program is to work to increase resilience and capacity to manage Varroa mite within the Australian honey bee industry and thereby minimise ongoing impacts of Varroa mite naturalisation on the bee industry and pollination-reliant industries.
The transition to a management program is still being developed, and once agreed will be in place for at least 12 months. In the interim, mandatory euthanasia of hives has ended, and most of the emergency and surveillance zones (red and purple) have transitioned to ‘suppression zones’ (same as the general blue zone previously) with the exception of Newcastle, Kempsey and the Central Coast red zones which become ‘management zones’ where hives will be treated with miticide and monitored.