Varroa mite detection reported at Blackwall
A new varroa mite infection has been reported at Blackwall by the NSW Department of Primary Industries on Tuesday, September 5.
The Peninsula is already within an eradication emergency (red) zone.
The detection was reported on the same day as detections at Cuttabri and Vineyard.
The department said the detection at Cuttabri, west of Narrabri, was a result of tracing activities by the department.
"The detection at Vineyard was reported after a beekeeper undertook a mandatory 16-week alcohol wash," according to deputy incident controller Dr Shannon Mulholland.
However, he did not explain the origin of Blackwall infection, which came at a time when high numbers of European honey bees were present in local gardens.
Peninsula News asked what was being done about the high numbers of honey bees on the Peninsula.
The answer provided by the department did not give a direct answer.
It referred to "specially-constructed feeder stations to target wild European honey bees only" with a second fipronil program having started on March 8 and still "currently happening".
"A noticeable decrease in localised wild European honey bee numbers can be typically observed within weeks of activation."
It stated: "The removal of wild European Honey Bees from Red Zones is not an instantaneous process and involves several factors including program initiation date, location and dispersal of feeder stations, existing European honey bee populations and interaction, staffing and resourcing availability, competing floral and seasonal resources and existing management priorities."
It did not mention whether media inquiries were another factor.
However, a noticeable decrease in local bee numbers was observed within days of the Peninsula News inquiry.
In his media release, Dr Mulholland said the department "remains focused on tracing and will begin surveillance efforts within five kilometres of the new infested premises".
"The goal National Varroa Mite Response remains to eradicate the introduced pest from Australia."
Media release, 5 Sep 2023
Shannon Mulholland, NSW DPI
Media statement, 13 Sep 2023
Sim Madigan, NSW DPI