Bee pests and diseases

There are many harmful bees and bee pests which could seriously damage the Northern Territory (NT) honey bee industry.

Notifiable honey bee diseases

Notifiable honey bee diseases in the NT include:

The following bee diseases are classified as emergency animal diseases:

  • acariasis of bees
  • Braula fly
  • small hive beetle
  • tropilaelaps mite
  • varroasis.

If you suspect or confirm an emergency or exotic bee disease you must report it as soon as possible. Call the biosecurity hotline on 1800 675 888.

Find out more about how to report notifiable diseases.

European foulbrood detection

European foulbrood has been detected in a small number of bee hives in Katherine.

The infected hives have been destroyed by the owner, who will treat any newly infected hives in the apiary with veterinary prescription treatment.

Other apiaries have been inspected and no signs of the disease were found.

All beekeepers must maintain good biosecurity measures.

Amateur beekeepers should ensure they have registered their beehives.

Varroa mite alert

Varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni) has been detected on Asian honey bees in Townsville, Queensland. 

Two mites were found on two bees, and three more were found in capped cells, in a hive discovered at Townsville port.

The bees, mites and hives have been destroyed and no further bees have been found.

For up-to-date information about this discovery of varroa mite, and the biosecurity response, go to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.

For more information about varroa mite go to the Plant Health Australia website.

Go to the Department of Primary Industry and Resources website to read the related news story.

Small hive beetle

Small hive beetle is one of the threats of potential concern in the NT. It is established in Queensland and New South Wales and has been detected in Western Australia.

It can be spread through hive movements, beekeeper movements, used equipment, on fruit, in soil and by bees themselves.

To find out more you can get the following fact sheets:

Chalkbrood disease

Chalkbrood disease is caused by a fungus that has now spread Australia-wide. It is no longer a notifiable disease.

Read the Agnote chalkbrood disease of honey bees (32.9 kb).

National Bee Pest Surveillance Program

Plant Health Australia co-ordinates the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program. It is an early-warning system to detect new occurrences of exotic bee pests. This includes pest bees.

The program monitors locations considered to be the most likely entry points for pests.

For more information go to the Plant Health Australia website.

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Last updated: 13 October 2017