ABA supports move to manage varroa mite


Australia’s peak body for the almond industry has welcomed the decision to change how varroa mite is handled nationally.

It was confirmed today that the National Management Group (NMG) agreed that eradication of Varroa destructor (varroa mite) is no longer feasible based on technical grounds.

Almond Board of Australia chief executive officer Tim Jackson said the industry had been involved in the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests (CCEPP) and NMG meetings since the bee parasite was first detected at the Port of Newcastle in June 2022.

“Given how far the parasite has spread, the costs and resourcing to continue working towards eradication were escalating, so this is a sound decision.” he said.

“We have all supported a concerted effort to eradicate this pest, but the odds are now insurmountable.”

“Authorities have worked hard to try and eradicate the pest, which has now been detected at 277 premises in New South Wales,” he said.

The NMG announced today that the national response will now focus on slowing the spread of varroa, building industry resilience to the pest, providing management options and supporting pollination security.

Australia was the last continent to be free of varroa mite.

“It is far from the outcome we were all seeking and the challenge now is coming up with a workable management plan that provides certainty for beekeepers and all stakeholders,” Mr Jackson said.

“There’s no doubt that varroa will present a myriad of challenges for the broader community and industry, but the lessons learnt from overseas is that varroa can be managed effectively within commercial hives.”

For further information or to request an interview contact Almond Board of Australia’s communications manager Kellie Hollingworth on 0409 393 403 or email khollingworth@australianalmonds.com.au