Damaging honey bee parasite found in rogue nest

Fraser BartonAAP
Varroa mite has been detected in an Asian honey bee nest in Brisbane. (HANDOUT/DENIS ANDERSON)
Camera IconVarroa mite has been detected in an Asian honey bee nest in Brisbane. (HANDOUT/DENIS ANDERSON) Credit: AAP

Testing at a Queensland port has found the presence of varroa mite in a now-destroyed Asian honey bee nest.

Biosecurity officials found the varroa mite within a single bee nest at the Port of Brisbane, after it was discovered earlier in March.

Authorities confirmed the presence of varroa mite on Friday with testing indicating no new exotic viruses or deformed wing virus.

However, the samples indicate a new "exotic incursion of Asian honey bee" that are not related to an established population found in Cairns.

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The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will continue surveillance at the Port of Brisbane and surrounding areas for Asian honey bee and varroa mite.

A movement control order aims to prevent the spread through the more than 3000 known hives in a 10km radius of the port.

This means beekeepers who have or had hives in the area in the past 90 days must not move them or their products and equipment.

Varroa mite attack and feed on honey bees. It is one of the most damaging honey bee pests in the world.

There have been about 12 incursions of bee pests in Australia during the past decade from Asian honey bees to varroa mites.

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