Home NewsAustralia Feral honey bees to be baited and destroyed in varroa mite hotspots

Feral honey bees to be baited and destroyed in varroa mite hotspots

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Authorities will start baiting feral bees in a single purple eradication zone subsequent week, greater than three months after varroa mite was detected on the Port of Newcastle.

Whereas destroying feral hives has been a key a part of the NSW authorities’s varroa mite eradication technique, the Division of Major Industries (DPI) stated it had been unable to do this whereas there have been managed hives within the zones.

“Managed hive bees will choose up the bait after which go into their nest after which the managed hive will get killed, there is no method then of figuring out whether or not there was a reside hive or a useless hive sitting there,” chief plant safety officer Satendra Kumar stated.

The DPI will use the insecticide fiprinol in baits to draw the feral European honey bees, which take the poison again to their hives.

A man in a check blazer and a shirt with flowers sits at his desk in an office.
Dr Kumar says managed hives in purple zones should be destroyed earlier than authorities bait for feral bee colonies.(Provided: NSW DPI)

The baiting program will begin within the 10-kilometre purple eradication zone of Jerry’s Plains within the Hunter area, the place all 19 managed hives within the zone have already been euthanased.

Dr Kumar stated the baiting stations could be monitored and could possibly be in place for as much as 12 months.

“We’ll do our first spherical then we’ll come again [for] quite a few rounds and for those who’re not attracting any bees then that is a sign there is no longer any bees current,” he stated.

A man holds a bee with a tiny brown varroa mite attached to it.
A varroa mite on a honey bee from a managed hive within the purple zone.(Provided: Steve Fuller)

The DPI will proceed euthanasing managed hives in different purple zones earlier than opening these as much as feral bee baits.

An enormous process

A number one bee knowledgeable stated all feral bees within the purple zones should be destroyed if eradication of varroa mite in Australia was to achieve success.

Bruce White OAM, who labored for the NSW DPI as an apiary officer for greater than 40 years, stated the problem was to seek out each feral bee colony within the state’s purple zones.

A man in a black and yellow shirt and a red hat smiles.
Veteran bee knowledgeable Bruce White says all feral bees in purple zones have to be destroyed.(ABC Rural: Kim Honan)

“There is a large quantity of feral bees in that space so DPI, to eradicate varroa from this state, must kill each feral bee in each purple zone to stop the unfold of varroa reinfecting hives sooner or later,” he stated.

Mr White stated there was nonetheless loads of bee exercise in areas the place managed hives had been killed, and stated he had witnessed bees working blossoms in areas the place hives had been destroyed. 

Eggs and bacon flower, lotus corniculatus
Bruce White says the “eggs and bacon” plant is in full flower and feral bees could be booming.(Flickr: John Tann)

He stated there was once as many feral honey bees as managed bees in NSW. 

“Our flora could be very appropriate for honey bees due to the eucalypts having loads of hollows in them, and bees are cavity dwellers so due to this fact there’s loads of feral bees,” he stated.

“And the proof is the place many species are supposedly all being killed, there’s nonetheless loads of bees being noticed on flora.”

Dr Kumar stated he did not suppose the roll-out of the feral bee baiting program had come too late as a result of authorities have been but to seek out any mites in feral nests.

“However having stated that, there’s each chance, particularly within the areas the place the infestations of varroa mite have been excessive, that there is likely to be some bees carrying the mite and due to this fact we need to be sure that we have removed these feral hives and bees,” he stated.

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