Varroa mite incursion in NSW – Status Update
Varroa Mite Response shifts to Management
Please read the information below in regards Varroa destructor sourced from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry communique (Source: DAFF website – dated 19 September 2023):
The National Management Group (NMG) confirmed at its meeting on 19 September 2023 that eradication of Varroa destructor (varroa mite) is no longer feasible based on technical grounds, following advice from the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP), and has now entered a transition to management phase. The NMG acknowledged the significant and sustained efforts of the New South Wales (NSW) Government and impacted industries over the eradication response phase since June 2022 and the contribution of both government and industry representatives in guiding response activities.
While a revised response plan (including transition to management activities) is being developed by the CCEPP and agreed to by the NMG, NSW will operate under an interim strategy to limit the impacts and slow the spread of varroa mite. The NSW Department of Primary Industries, the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and other impacted industry groups will be communicating with beekeepers and businesses relying on pollination services currently impacted by the response program around all changes to requirements.
Varroa mite remains a key threat to Australia’s honey and honey bee pollination plant industries, and it is important that government and industry continue to work together to manage this pest.
The NMG will meet again in the coming weeks to consider further technical advice from the CCEPP on options for the ongoing management of varroa mite in Australia.
Avocados Australia – Our Response:
Avocados Australia has been involved in the emergency response from the very beginning when the Varroa destructor incursion first began in June 2022. The decision to move to management is a very disappointing outcome as we are very aware of the destructive capabilities of this pest and its potential impact on industries.
Avocados Australia will continue to participate in the CCEPP and NMG in developing the revised response plan. The “scope” of the transition to management phase will be to:
1. Ensure an orderly stand-down of emergency response operational activities in NSW and Victoria
2. To slow the spread of Varroa destructor
3. Build industry resilience to the pest
4. Provide management options including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) recommendations and chemical control options, and
5. Support pollination security.
We want to acknowledge the enormous effort undertaken by all parties since the incursion began. While a revised response plan (including transition to management activities) is being developed by the CCEPP and agreed to by the NMG, NSW will operate under an interim strategy to limit the impacts and slow the spread of varroa mite.
Growers are encouraged to do the following:
- Remain compliant through the response and follow directions given by agencies such as the NSW Department of Primary Industries, or the department in your jurisdiction
- Keep thorough records
- If you use commercial beekeeper services stay in contact with your beekeeper provider in case of updates.
For more information please refer to the following resources:
For more information about the NSW DPI response visit the website: here.
This content is current as of 21 September 2023.
Date Published: 04/08/2022