Varroa MITE Incursion

Varroa Mite (Varroa destructor) Incursion

Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is the most serious pest of European honey bees. It was detected for the first time in Australia at the Port of Newcastle (NSW) in June 2022. An emergency response was initiated according to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed supported by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, and agricultural industries potentially affected by this pest. The Response was led by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, and even though it was the largest agricultural biosecurity response in Australia to date, it was ultimately unsuccessful in eradicating Varroa mite.

In September 2023, the National Management Group agreed it was no longer feasible to eradicate Varroa mite and a plan to assist industry and the community to transition to management (T2M) should be developed. A 24-month T2M plan was approved in February 2024.

A one-page summary of the T2M Plan can be found here or, alternatively, click here for a detailed summary of the T2M Plan.


Links to up to date information and media releases from the NSW DPI and AHBIC can be found below.

DPI Varroa Response page – Varroa mite emergency response (

AHBIC Varroa Response page  News – Australian Honey Bee Industry Council


Financial Assistance:

Rural Financial Counselling Service – Home – Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW (RFCS) (  – 1800 319 458

Rural Assistance Authority – Reimbursement ( & – 1800 678 593

Rural Aid – Services Provided – Rural Aid – Supporting Rural Communities – 1300 327 624

Drought Angels – Supporting Aussie Farmers & Their Communities – Drought Angels – 07 4662 7371

Farm Houshold Allowance – Natural disaster – Services Australia – Farmer Assistance Line 132 316


Mental Health and Wellbeing: 

NSW Health – Mental health ( – 1800 011 511

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) –  RAMHP – Rural Adversity Mental Health Program – 0437 989 044

Rural Aid – Mental health & wellbeing line 1300 175 594 (Mon to Fri, 9-5)

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

Mensline – 1800 789 978


Online Resources:

Head to Health – Home | Head to Health

Beyond Blue – Beyond Blue | 24/7 Support for Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Prevention

Podcast about disasters, trauma, and
mental health – S1 E2: Disasters, trauma & mental health – Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (

R U Ok? : Mateship Manual
Downloadable resource to help have
supportive conversations – Emergency and disaster resources I R U OK?