Bee industry stung by mites

Bee industry stung by mites

Despite the uncertainty about the varroa mite in Australia, authorities have announced they will allow the movement of commercial beehives for pollination.
Bee hives can be decimated by the parasite and biosecurity officers were quick to act when the varroa mite was discovered at the Port of Newcastle last month.
Eradication zones were established in New Souths Wales with hundreds of hives identified as needing to be destroyed.
Millions of bees have been killed in the process at almost 40 infested locations.
To date Victoria has been immune from the mite, which originated in Asia during the 1950s, although in 2018 varroa destructor was detected in the state in a swarm of European honey bees arriving on cargo. 
The bees were reported by the vessels captain and authorities quickly eliminated the swarm.
Near neighbour, New Zealand, however has succumbed to the parasite.
While the Australian authorities would appear to be getting on top of the problem, only time will tell.

IMAGE: Bee hives in an almond orchard which are dependent upon pollination by honeybees. INSET: Local beekeeper, Ian Cane. (PS)

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