A trial is underway at the department’s Post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility in Melbourne to prepare for imports of live queen bees from around the world.

Newly appointed biosecurity apiary officers have been working with industry partners since December to test PEQ operations for managing bee imports.

Head of the PEQ, Dr Peter Finnin, says the Queen bee domestic trial will provide huge benefits to the bee industry. This includes access to important genetics, particularly around preventative resistance to the devastating bee mite, Varroa destructor (an exotic National Priority Plant Pest not currently present in Australia).

‘The trial complements other genetic improvement programs aimed at improving the sustainability of local bee populations.’

‘Our new biosecurity apiary officers have had to learn about bee related functions including how to support the colonies, the inspection process, the hibernation of the queen, introduction of queen to nucleus hives, mite inspections and ongoing daily monitoring.’

Imports are expected to start Spring 2020.

Article courtesy of Biosecurity Matters, as published by the DAWE 11/3/20