In light of the recent news of the Varroa mite biosecurity emergency, Rooftop Bees has issued the following statement.
As reported in the news and mainstream media, on Wednesday 22 June the NSW Department of Primary Industries detected varroa mite, confirmed as Varroa Destructor, in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle.
Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite, the most serious pest of honey bees worldwide. A 10km eradication zone has been established and all managed hives and feral colonies within this zone are being euthanised in an attempt to eradicate the virus. NSW DPI has also issued an emergency order which bans the movement of bees across NSW until further notice. If the virus breaches the emergency zone, the impact to the honey, beekeeping, pollination and agricultural industries which rely on bee pollination will be catastrophic.
Rooftop Bees does not have managed sites within the eradication zone. While the emergency order is in force, we will not be undertaking new site installation until further notice. We are hopeful that the task force's critical response is able to contain and eradicate the virus quickly and effectively.
Honey bees need our support now more than ever, and we remain committed to servicing our corporate partners to help rebuild honey bee populations and strengthen biodiversity within the urban environment.
For the latest and most reliable sources of information on the Varroa mite biosecurity emergency, we recommend the following outlets:
NSW Department of Primary of Industries
Australian Honey Bee Industry Council