Varroosis of honey bees,
Information received on 20/05/2020 from Dr Mark Schipp, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Australian Government, Canberra, Australia
Report type Follow-up report No. 13
Date of start of the event 27/06/2016
Date of confirmation of the event 30/06/2016
Report date 20/05/2020
Date submitted to OIE 20/05/2020
Reason for notification First occurrence of a listed disease
Manifestation of disease Sub-clinical infection
Causal agent Varroa jacobsoni
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (basic), Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country
Related reports Immediate notification (01/07/2016)
Follow-up report No. 1 (08/07/2016)
Follow-up report No. 2 (20/07/2016)
Follow-up report No. 3 (28/07/2016)
Follow-up report No. 4 (10/08/2016)
Follow-up report No. 5 (18/08/2016)
Follow-up report No. 6 (07/10/2016)
Follow-up report No. 7 (04/11/2016)
Follow-up report No. 8 (04/07/2017)
Follow-up report No. 9 (27/06/2019)
Follow-up report No. 10 (11/07/2019)
Follow-up report No. 11 (06/08/2019)
Follow-up report No. 12 (13/11/2019)
Follow-up report No. 13 (20/05/2020)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Townsville, Queensland
Date of start of the outbreak 28/04/2020
Outbreak status Continuing (or date resolved not provided)
Epidemiological unit Apiary
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Bees (hives) 1 0 1 0
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Bees (hives) 1 0 1 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Bees (hives) ** ** 0.00% **
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments Apis cerana (Asian honey bee, AHB) forewings were identified from rainbow bee-eater pellets within the Port of Townsville on 24 April 2020. Following surveillance work in the area, an AHB nest was located in the Port of Townsville (a short distance from where the pellets were collected from) and treated and removed appropriately on 30 April 2020. Varroa sp. mites were detected and confirmed from this nest site, and subsequently destroyed. Sequence analysis of these mites confirmed them to be Varroa jacobsoni and of the Java haplotype. Genetic microsatellite testing has shown that the detected AHB are not related to any previous incursion of AHB in Australia, including those present in Cairns, or subject of the current national eradication program in Townsville. The current response plan will be modified to include additional surveillance, communication and awareness activities within the community and industry.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Control of vectors
  • Stamping out
  • Surveillance within containment and/or protection zone
  • Quarantine
  • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
Biosecurity Queensland Plant Laboratories, Plant Biosecurity Laboratory, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Regional Laboratory) Bees gene sequencing 12/05/2020 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations