Varroa fight at critical stage

April 25, 2014

From: Stock Journal


THE ongoing protection of Australia’s honeybee population from a deadly overseas parasite that has decimated hives worldwide is at “situation critical”, according to Independent Senator for SA Nick Xenophon.

Since 2004, the Varroa mite has been infecting hives just 150 kilometres north of Qld in Papua New Guinea.

Australia remains the only honey-producing country in the world that has not yet been infected by Varroa.

CSIRO research says the pest – which is hosted by another unwanted parasite, the Asian honeybee – kills 95 per cent to 100pc of unmanaged hives in Europe and the United States within three to four years of infestation.

If it entered Australia, the mite would progressively wipe out the feral bee population and cause estimated annual losses of $70 million a year to its horticulture and plant industries. 

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