$31 million to fight Varroa mite in regional NSW
The NSW Government today announced $31 million to support beekeepers, horticulture and cropping industries affected by the Varroa mite outbreak.
The announcement was made in front of the NSW Farmers Conference, held in Rosehill Gardens.
Minister for Agriculture, Regional NSW and Western NSW Tara Moriarty said Varroa mite continues to be a significant threat to the honey bee and pollination industries throughout regional NSW.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting these industries in their fight against Varroa mite, which was first detected in the sentinel hives of European honey bees at the port of Newcastle just over a year ago,” Minister Moriarty said.
“Protecting our apiary industry, as well as the many industries which rely on it for production and pollination, is not only the right thing to do – it also makes good economic sense.”
Minister Moriarty said Varroa mite will add an estimated $52 million per year in apiary management expenses. The impacts without intervention would be severe on both the wild European honey bee population as well as managed hives around Australia.
“The NSW Varroa mite response, led by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), is the biggest plant pest response ever undertaken in NSW and as we pass the 1-year milestone we remain focused on the goal of eradicating the mite,” Ms Moriarty said.
In the past year:
- 2148 people have spent an estimated 452,569 hours on the response across 990,400 hectares of eradication (red) zones
- the NSW DPI has fielded more than 10,000 calls, and has held close to 100 community meetings and webinars
- the Wild European Honey Bee Management Program has deployed 705 bait stations, 823 Fipronil applications, and has been monitoring samples of Wild European Honey Bees collected in Emergency Eradication Zones for Varroa mite of which 725 have returned negative results
- the NSW DPI has sampled 40,726 managed hives across NSW
- beekeepers have sampled 91,626 hives throughout the state.
NSW Government has already spent more than $33 million to control Varroa outbreaks, including $13.7 million in reimbursement to around 2500 affected commercial and recreational beekeepers.
Minister Moriarty said an updated plan for the next 3 years of the response had been endorsed by the National Management Group, which includes representatives from all states, the Commonwealth and industry groups.
“The operational cost of the response is approved and cost-shared by all governments and 16 industry parties, and the progressive spend is monitored by all parties on a regular basis,” Ms Moriarty said.
For more information on current and emerging biosecurity outbreaks, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.