Queensland authorities have enacted a movement control order after the bee-decimating varroa mite was recently found in NSW.
Signed on Thursday, the three-month order restricts bees, bee hives, bee products - including honey, and used bee keeping equipment coming from NSW into Queensland.
Varroa mite was found in two of six sentinel hives at the Port of Newcastle in NSW's Hunter region on June 22 after routine surveillance on sentinel hives by NSW bee biosecurity officers.
The tiny parasite attaches itself to honey bees and honey bee brood, affects Asian honey bees and European honey bees and is considered the greatest threat to Australia's honey and honey bee pollinated plant industries.
Australia is one of the few countries in the world to remain free of varroa mite, but if it was to establish in here, European honey bee and the pollination services provided could be reduced by 90-100 per cent.
It is estimated that varroa mite could result in losses of $70 million a year should it become established in Australia.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the order was essential to protect the industry.
"The first thing we've got to do is make sure we protect our borders in Queensland, so that's why we acted decisively in moving the movement control order today," Mr Furner said.
"This is very destructive - hence the name of the particular mite - to the industry," Mr Furner said.
Beekeepers are encouraged to monitor their hives and immediately report unexpected hive deaths, deformed bees, bees with parasites, poor brood patterns and dead brood to Biosecurity Queensland.
"You have an obligation and anyone that breaches that obligation can be prosecuted up to over $280,000 or one year jail for breaching those orders," Mr Furner said.
Queensland Beekeepers' Association state secretary Jo Martin said given the serious nature of the detection in Newcastle, the association was committed to the national response to contain and eradicated the mite.
"The Queensland Beekeepers will work closely with the Queensland government to assist in the national response efforts and support the surveillance activities to protect the Queensland honey bee industry," Ms Martin said.
In NSW, there is a state-wide standstill of all bees, hives, apiary equipment and untreated bee products.
Mr Furner said NSW had taken swift action to restrict the spread of varroa mite, however if control measures failed and varroa mite entered Queensland, there were limited options for eradicating varroa mite, as no effective natural enemies of varroa mite existed.
Bees, hives, bee products and equipment can continue to be moved within Queensland.
People are also being urged to register as a biosecurity entity if they own or keep at least one hive.
"Go online, do the right thing. Make sure you protect your industry - whether it be a hobby, whether it be a business - to ensure we capture that information of where your hives are, your movements, so we can keep this for generations well into the future," Mr Furner said.
Registration is free for non-commercial beekeepers and native bee hives do not need to be registered.
About 75pc of the beekeeping industry clusters around Wide Bay Burnett, Gympie, Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba, and Scenic Rim areas.
Beekeeping services are relied on by Queensland's fruit and vegetable growing industry through pollination services each season.
Published figures have estimated the honey bee industry contributes about $2.4 billion to the Queensland economy each year.
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