On 31 July 2020 the National Management Group (NMG) endorsed a revised Response Plan for the Eradication of Varroa jacobsoni from Queensland, 2019 and 2020 incidents version 2.0 after a recent detection of Varroa jacobsoni in Queensland.
Varroa jacobsoni was detected in an Asian Honey Bee (AHB) nest at the Port of Townsville in April 2020. Genetic testing confirmed the incursion is a new incident and is not related to the previous incursions of V. jacobsoni in 2016 and 2019 at the port. The aim of the revised Response Plan is to eradicate V. jacobsoni and minimise the impacts of the outbreak on affected businesses, communities and ancillary industries.
The NMG agreed that it continues to be technically feasible and cost beneficial to eradicate V. jacobsoni from Australia. The NMG agreed to an upper limit of expenditure of $2.17 million, which will fund response activities until 30 June 2021. Under the revised Response Plan, the timeframe for achieving proof of freedom will remain the same and operational activity will conclude by 30 April 2021.
The Australian Government, all state and territory governments, and affected industries are contributing to this nationally significant response. The affected industry parties for this response are:
- Almond Board of Australia
- Apple and Pear Australia Limited
- Australian Honey Bee Industry Council
- Australian Lychee Growers Australia
- Australian Macadamia Society
- Australian Mango Industry Association
- Australian Melon Association
- Avocados Australia
- Canned Fruit Industry Council of Australia
- Cherry Growers of Australia
- Grain Producers Australia
- Raspberries and Blackberries Australia
- Strawberries Australia Inc
- Summerfruit Australia Ltd
Beekeepers are encouraged to inspect their hives regularly for signs of varroa mites and other exotic pests, and to report any suspected symptoms to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881