NSW beehives to be destroyed over mites
The NSW government response to the varroa mite outbreak this year is entering the “euthanasia and disposal phase.”
All hives within the identified eradication area, including parts of the Newcastle, Central Coast and Port Stephens areas, will be destroyed, including those free of varroa mites.
The destruction is necessary to completely eradicate the mites, said Satendra Kumar, head of plant protection for the NSW Department of Primary Industries.
“It is critical to look beyond the only known infected sites and eliminate any potential future hosts where parasite incubation may occur,” said Dr. Kumar.
“The eradication activities will start at the outer edges of the red varroa eradication zones and will move towards the center.”
The next phase of eradication comes when two other infected premises in the state were identified on Friday.
This brought the state’s infected premises to 99.
Agriculture Minister Dugald Saunders also announced on Friday that beekeepers whose hives, honey or equipment have been destroyed would be eligible for a refund.
Recreational beekeepers can charge $ 550 per hive, with commercial operators having to repay at least the estimated market value of their hives and honey.
The newly identified premises are both close to the existing infected premises.
“All confirmed cases have clear links to existing cases or are geographically linked,” DPI said Saturday.
The mites were first detected in the biosecurity monitoring hives at Newcastle Harbor in June.