New measures have been put in place as part of the Varroa mite emergency response to help deal with an expected increase in bee activity as the weather warms up.
Nationals Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said people need to be prepared as we head into spring to prevent the mite from spreading.
“Bees typically swarm during warmer months as a way of establishing new colonies, so we’re reminding people to be aware that these swarms can become feral or unmanaged in places like chimneys or walls of houses over many years,” Mr Saunders said.
“Reporting these swarms and colonies is really important so we’re asking members of the public who find any to exercise caution and contact the Department of Primary Industries (DPI), so they can take targeted action to remove them.
“A plan has been developed to manage feral colonies, which includes euthanising colonies in the eradication zones.
“Only beekeepers, pest controllers and people experienced in handling and euthanising honeybees should attempt to eradicate a hive or swarming colony.
“A bee sting can cause pain and swelling, and some people may have a serious allergic reaction to the sting, so if you don’t have experience in handling bees, do not approach them and leave it to the experts.”
Commercial and recreational beekeepers must be registered to take part in euthanising feral bee colonies.
If you come across a feral bee colony, contact DPI’s Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (9am to 5pm, seven days a week).
For more information on the Varroa mite emergency response, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa