A biosafety zone, established last week in the port of Newcastle following the detection of a deadly parasite in hives, is ready to be extended to all of New South Wales, ABC understands.
The varroa destroyer, commonly called the varroa mite, has been described as the most serious pest of honey bees worldwide.
The mite spreads viruses that paralyze the bees’ ability to fly, gather food or get out of their cell to be born.
It also significantly reduces their ability to pollinate crops.
On Friday, it was discovered in Newcastle, prompting the state government to establish an “emergency biosafety zone” around the major port.
This meant that beekeepers within 50 kilometers of the port were ordered not to move hives or equipment in or out of this area.
This zone is now set to be expanded across the country, ABC has learned.
The NSW government says a varroamide outbreak could cost the honey industry $ 70 million a year.
Australia has been the only continent left free of the parasite, with previous detections in Queensland and Victoria eradicated.
More on the way.
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