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Domestic Import – New requirements for carriers of varroa mite

Issue date: 16 February 2023

Update to the requirements for the import to Western Australia of bees, bee products and beekeeping equipment to include the declared pest Varroa destructor (varroa mite).

Who do these changes affect? Domestic businesses that import honey, honeycomb, beeswax, propolis, pollen, used beekeeping appliances/equipment, and honey bees (Apis mellifera) to Western Australia (WA).

What are the changes? Western Australian Import Requirements (WAIR) H02 specifies the requirement for entry to WA of honey, bees, associated bee products and beekeeping equipment that may carry a range of declared pests.

WAIR H02 was updated in January 2023 to include:

  • varroa mite listed as a declared pest, and

  • requirements that adequately mitigate the risk of varroa mite when importing each of its specified carriers.

No additional treatments are required where current mitigations for other bee pests also address the risk of varroa mite.

Varroa mite requirements do not apply to potential carriers that have been derived from/associated with hives, which for the preceding 12 months have been located in a state or territory or part of a state or territory that is free from varroa mite as evidenced by Area Freedom Certificate(s) approved by the Chief Plant Biosecurity Officer Western Australia.

Documentation that verifies the origin of the carrier may be requested.

Reason for change Varroa mite is an external parasite of European honey bees that can weaken and kill colonies and transmit honey bee viruses.

Varroa mite can quickly spread when uninfected bees come into contact with infected bees, bee products and beekeeping equipment.

The pest poses a significant threat to WA’s honey bee and product businesses and plant industries reliant on bee pollination.

Varroa mite was detected in Australia on 22 June 2022 at the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales (NSW).

The pest has now been found in over 100 premises in NSW and is subject to a nationally funded eradication program.

Varroa mite has not been detected in WA and is declared a prohibited organism under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.

The biosecurity risk to WA from the entry of varroa mite has been assessed and requirements introd

uced to minimise the risk.

Actions required Please refer to the Western Australian Import Requirements search for information on importing bees, honey and honey products and beekeeping equipment into Western Australia.

For questions relating to import requirements, importers should contact Quarantine WA Imports Officer at or on (08) 9334 1800

Issued by Chief Plant Biosecurity Officer Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA)

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