I would just like to give some solid advice for anyone considering having hives hosted on someone else’s property, no matter how sincere either party is please protect yourself and your hives/bees with a signed and witnessed agreement. State exactly what it is you expect from the arrangement and that your hives/bees remain your property as they are considered livestock and are not to be tampered with by the other party or anyone whilst you are not present or without your specific permission. The ownership of hives/bees cannot be transferred or changed into anyone else’s name without your authority to DPI. My advice comes from experience.
Varroa Destructor was identified in hives neat the port of Newcastle in June 2022. The NSW DPI began to follow the planned procedure for this type of event. The hardest element has been finding volunteers to put feet on the ground to inspect as many hives as possible and try and work out how far this has moved and approximately how long it’s been here undetected. Many hundreds of hives/colonies have been destroyed in the red eradication zones so far with more awaiting their eradication date. In a massive effort of surveillance in the purple zones to define the border of the spread, lines have been pretty fairly drawn and last week it was agreed upon on a national level that the current general blue zone was Varroa mite free.
Unfortunately for us at The Naked Honey Apiary our journey will soon be over as both of our apiaries now fall within red zones, I (Roz) have cried buckets of tears and we have gradually come to terms with the reality that our beautiful hard working bees are now sadly on death row as we await the call from DPI officers to arrange the date for their euthanasia. We have prepared ourselves for the inevitable but I know that more tears will be shed when we see the lost bees flying around for days wondering why they can’t get into their homes and eventually dying because they have nowhere to go and for us to live with seeing the hives wrapped in black plastic sitting for weeks waiting to be collected and taken away for ever, this I am not looking forward to but I also wish that it will happen soon so we can heal and move on with our lives.