Make a bee-line for your hives

The annual Bee Pest Blitz campaign has commenced and is calling on all Australian beekeepers to inspect their hives for high priority pests such as varroa and tropilaelaps mites this April. If you haven’t already, this is your sign to get bee-sy and inspect your hives before winter pack down.

By participating in Bee Pest Blitz month, Australian beekeepers will fulfil their bee biosecurity obligations and one of the two inspection requirements under the Australian Honey Bee Industry Code of Practice.

The Bee Pest Blitz campaign aims to create awareness of exotic and established bee pests, the importance of hive inspections using nationally agreed surveillance techniques and consistent record keeping and reporting of results.

Plant Health Australia (PHA) has developed a suite of resources to support the month-long campaign including posters, flyers, magnets and a new training video for beekeepers providing guidance on how to perform an alcohol wash for detecting the presence and monitoring the level of external mites. PHA has also developed three new factsheets on varroa mitestropilaelaps mites and the essential components of bee biosecurity.

Consistent and ongoing surveillance activities are critical to ensure honey bees are safeguarded against high priority exotic pests, ensuring healthy bees are available for pollination services. Biosecurity measures ensure the honey bee industry is prepared for, and can respond to, new and emerging pest threats.

It’s time to bee aware. If you see anything suspicious, report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.

Bee Pest Blitz is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, led by PHA and supported by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and all state and territory government agriculture agencies.