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More infected beehives detected in Hunter Valley

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Five new detections of Varroa mite have been confirmed in the Hunter Valley by NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) field officers.

The latest locations – at Anna Bay, Heatherbrae, Williamtown, Mayfield and Lambton – bring the total number of infested premises to 24 since the parasitic disease was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

NSW DPI acting chief plant protection officer Dr Chris Anderson said the local grounds where the Varroa mite was discovered all fell within existing emergency precincts.

“We’ve established a zone around the infested premises and put significant measures in place to stop the spread,” he explained.

“As per the agreed response plan with industry, NSW DPI will begin euthanising all hives and equipment on the property, with the assistance of the owner.

“All movements of hives and equipment onto and off the property over the past 12 months will be traced, and risk analysis and surveillance with beekeepers will be conducted in the area to minimise further spread.”

Beekeepers and property owners with hives on their land within the 50km emergency zone of Narrabri are also being asked to contact the Beekeeper Notification – Varroa mite online form at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

“NSW DPI continues to ask people who have acquired honeybees (including queen bees, nucleus hives and hives with honeybees) from within the 50km emergency notification zone the Port of Newcastle in the past 12 months to report them to help ensure business continuity for the bee industry,” Dr Anderson said.

“The communities in the surveillance zones are also asked to report feral honeybee hives.

“Community reporting is an invaluable component of our control measures.”

NSW DPI has also contacted beekeepers in the Central Coast Calga area to advise that authorised officers will start conducting hive inspections in the surveillance zone over the next week.

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