The NSW and Australian governments have announced an $18 million package to support beekeepers affected by the Varroa mite outbreak.
Registered recreational beekeepers impacted by Varroa mite in the eradication (red) zone and commercial beekeepers in the eradication and surveillance (red and purple) zones can now access reimbursement payments via the Varroa Mite Response program - click here to read the Minister's announcement regarding reimbursements in the purple zone.
Reimbursements are being paid under the compensation provisions of Part 19 of the Biosecurity Act 2015. To be eligible for reimbursement, applicants must be a registered beekeeper with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), have had honeybee colonies and/or hives and equipment destroyed (this varies dependent on zone) as a direct result of the Varroa mite emergency response and meet other criteria as outlined in the relevant program guidelines. Note, the Biosecurity Act 2015 includes grounds for refusal of compensation and the Secretary can consider these grounds when assessing an application for compensation. For example, compensation may not be payable in the event an applicant has committed an offence under the Biosecurity Act 2015, including the Biosecurity (Varroa mite) Emergency Order 2022, as amended from time to time.
DPI Authorised Officers will provide impacted beekeepers with details of how they can apply for reimbursement including a link to the application form.
Before lodging an application, applicants should familiarise themselves the requirements of the Biosecurity Act 2015 and relevant policies and procedures.
It is an offence under the Biosecurity Act 2015 to lodge a claim knowing that is false or misleading in a material particular or is concerned with any fraudulent act or omission for the purpose of obtaining compensation for the claimant or any other person.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) detected Varroa mite in June 2022, confirmed as Varroa destructor in biosecurity surveillance hives at the Port of Newcastle.
The DPI is working to protect the NSW honey bee industry and is continuing efforts to contain and eradicate Varroa mite.
Daily updates in relation to the emergency response are provided on the DPI’s Varroa Mite Emergency Response webpage.
To support beekeepers affected by the Varroa mite outbreak in NSW, reimbursement is available for hives and equipment destroyed, bees baited, as well as the value of honey product foregone as a result of the emergency response.
Supporting evidence requirements:
Click here for detail of supporting evidence requirements for commercial beekeepers in the red zone.
Click here for a holding statement relevant to commercial beekeepers who have been approved to receive reimbursement under the Varroa Mite Response Program.
Click here to read the Frequently Asked Questions for the Varroa Mite Response Program.