Bee varroa wise with app

Published Wednesday, 13 July, 2022 at 12:15 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Queensland beekeepers can now use a new form on a survey app to help keep the destructive varroa mite (Varroa destructor) out of Queensland.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said using the Bee 123 form on the Survey 123 app would play an important role in the fight to keep varroa mite out of Queensland.

“Even if suspect mites are not found, information from the Bee 123 form will be used to understand the number and health of beehives in Queensland, and to demonstrate the state remains free of the pest,” Mr Furner said.

“The recent detection of varroa mites in New South Wales highlights the need for increased vigilance to protect Queensland’s beehives, the honeybee industry and the crops they pollinate.

“Although the Varroa destructor species is not established in Australia, we cannot be complacent and early detection is essential to ensure any varroa mites entering Australia are contained.

“That is why we have restricted the movement of bees, beehives and other varroa mite carriers from New South Wales into Queensland and I urge beekeepers to download the Survey 123 app and use the Bee 123 form which will help make reporting checks of their hives easy and efficient.”

Mr Furner also urged beekeepers to register as a Biosecurity Entity with Biosecurity Queensland.

“Being registered means you can quickly receive urgent information in the event of a biosecurity emergency, so please take the time to register with Biosecurity Queensland,” he said.

Mr Furner said there were three simple and effective ways that beekeepers could conduct their own varroa mite surveillance.

“Biosecurity Queensland recommends alcohol wash as the most effective method to detect mites in hives, but the sugar shake and drone uncapping methods can also be used,” Mr Furner said.

“Details of all three methods are available online and all beekeepers should monitor their hives and report the results to Biosecurity Queensland.

“As varroa mite has the potential to severely affect honey production and a wide range of pollination-reliant food crops and crops that support primary food production, beekeepers have both a legal and social responsibility to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of varroa mite entering and establishing in Queensland.

“Regular surveillance and reporting through the Bee123 form, which is available through the Survey 123 app on the Apple App Store, and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website and ehub, will be crucial to keeping Queensland free of varroa mite and protecting our vital agribusinesses.”

Apiarists who suspect a case of varroa mite should call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or email

Detailed information on how to check hives and report results can be found at and


Media contact:           Ron Goodman            0427 781 920