Importance of pest surveillance

Apiary monitoring and surveillance involves looking for and recording the presence, absence and population levels of pests. Regular monitoring is a fundamental part of honey bee management practices and gives the best chance of spotting an exotic or established pest soon after it arrives.

Pest surveillance is necessary because of:

  • Market access: Export destinations for honey bees can require ‘evidence of absence’ data for exotic as well as some established pests that are of concern. The Australian honey bee industry, in collaboration with governments, must prove through surveillance that exotic and/or established pests have been looked for and found to be absent.
  • Exotic pest eradication: Early detection of exotic pests improves the chance of eradication or containment within a region. However, if eradication or containment is not feasible, early detection, in conjunction with contingency planning and preparedness by government and industry bodies (eg preparing emergency chemical registrations, awareness material and training in pest diagnostics) assists with more rapid and effective response management.