A Varroa mite parasite on the back of a honey bee (Photo: USDA-ARS/Steve Ausmus)

July 2016, 2016

A varroa mite has been detected in a second beehive in the Townsville area.

Biosecurity Queensland spokesman Dr Ashley Bunce said laboratory examinations of an Asian honey bee hive found in the Townville suburb of Annandale this week had confirmed the presence of  the mites.

Dr Bunce said initial examinations had found no mites on the bees but a single mite had been identified within a comb taken from the hive.

“The hive was in a residential yard about nine kilometres from where the previous hive was found at the Port of Townsville,” he said.

“As a result of this confirmation, we are now increasing our surveillance activities in and around the Annandale area.

“By the end of this week, we expect that laboratory testing will confirm whether there are any more mites and if the Asian honey bees found at Annandale are related to the original hive found at the Port of Townsville.

“We continue to urge local residents to check their yards and let us know if they see any bee activity.”

Varroa jacobsoni mites were found in Queensland for the first time in late June in a feral Asian honey bee hive at the Port of Townsville.

“Those bees were carrying a small number of varroa mites which present a real threat to the honey bee industry and plant industries that rely on bees for pollination,” Dr Bunce said.

“While these mites are not the more serious Varroa destructor, we are taking this incident very seriously and putting every effort into ensuring they are eradicated.

“There are currently restrictions on the movement of bees, bee hives, bee products (excluding honey), and used bee keeping equipment from the Townsville area to prevent any possible spread of the mite.”


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