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Sunday, 07 August 2022 10:56 GMT

Varroa Mite Infestation Leads To Honeybee Lockdown In Australia


(MENAFN- BreezyScroll)

Lockdown is a familiar concept following the pandemic. However, Varroa Mite infestation has forced honeybees in Australia to go on a lockdown.

Honeybees in Lockdown. Here's why

During Covid's worst, people around the world became habituated to staying indoors. However, this Monday, honeybees in southeast Australia had to go on a lockdown.

The measure was taken as authorities raced to prevent the spread of a parasite plague that is said to be potentially parasitic.

The Varroa Mite was detected at the Port of Newcastle, prompting authorities in New South Wales to throw up a strict biosecurity zone.

Hence, to stop the spread, beekeepers inside a 50 km zone must not move combs, hives, and honey until further notice. As per the state Department of Primary Industries, this is for“ensuring we eradicate the parasite”.

“A new 10km eradication zone, 25km for surveillance, and an extended 50km biosecurity zone have been implemented. To rapidly shut down that new incursion and stop further spread. Since linked to another case, it shows the prompt and efficient response by the Department of Primary Industries is working well,” stated Dugald Saunders. Saunders is the state Agriculture Minister.

“So far, just around the Newcastle area, there's been six sentinel hives and three private hives that have been destroyed and that will continue over the next day or so,” he added.

What is the Varroa mite problem?

Varroa mites or Varroa destructor is a type of small, red-brown colored external parasite of honeybees. They attack and feed on honeybees, resulting in the deaths of entire colonies.

Australia is the only prominent honey-producing region where the Varroa Mite is not endemic. The nation's honey industry is heavily dependent on non-native species of bees.

“It is critically important that beekeepers in the Newcastle area do not move any hives or equipment in or out of the area,” stated the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council.“Moving hives away will only further exacerbate the issue and make eradication efforts futile,” they added. 

Additionally, honeybees are vital pollinators for several pants.“[My beekeeper] says under the NSW guidelines he can't move them, he is only allowed to move them no more than 3 meters. It's very important for everything, the pollination improves the fruit quality.“They make them juicier, bigger, and tastier. Without bee pollination, we won't get good enough berries,” stated Vik Momi, a commercial blueberry farmer.

Honeybee Lockdown

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