NT residents are reminded to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for the exotic Asian honeybee that was detected at a residence in Darwin last month.
No further evidence of the Asian honeybee has been found in the area immediately surrounding where a swarm of the exotic bees was detected in May.
Public reporting is one of the most effective tools in detecting and controlling exotic plant pests.
As well as following up on reports from the public, Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) Director Biosecurity and Animal Welfare Sarah Corcoran said surveillance activity has been completed within a 1km radius of where the swarm was found.
“No evidence of further Asian honeybees was found and we have now broadened our surveillance effort to a 3km radius of the original detection,” Ms Corcoran said.
“Our surveillance work has included floral sweeping, using bee-eating birds to identify bees in targeted locations, and pheromone-loaded helium balloons to attract bees for identification purposes.
“The surveillance work is critical to determining if there are more Asian honeybees in the area or if this was a one-off detection.”
This week, executive director Australian Honeybee Industry Council Trevor Weatherhead and member Peter McDonald have been in Darwin assisting with the surveillance activity.
“We’re working closely with the Northern Territory Government to provide advice and help with surveillance work following the recent detection of Asian honeybee,” Mr Weatherhead said.
“Asian honeybees are a significant threat to Australian and Northern Territory honey and pollination industries because they could carry the varroa mite which feeds on bees.”
The swarm of Asian honeybees in Karama were examined and showed no presence of mites and specialist laboratories are examining the bees to rule out other notifiable pests and diseases. All bees in the swarm including the Queen were collected and destroyed.
There are approximately 24,000 registered beekeepers in Australia and the Australian honey bee industry produces between 20,000 and 30,000 tonnes of honey annually.
Anyone who sees a suspect bee, swarm or nest should report it to the Norther Territory Apiary Officer on 0401 115 853 or call the Exotic Plant Pest hotline on 1800 084 881.