A buzzworthy cause: Bee Pest Blitz

March 19, 2024

It’s almost time for the second annual month long Bee Pest Blitz campaign. During April, all Australian beekeepers are encouraged to inspect their hives for high priority pests such as varroa and tropilaelaps mites.

The Bee Pest Blitz campaign aims to create awareness of exotic and established bee pests, the importance of hive inspections using nationally-agreed surveillance techniques and consistent record keeping and reporting of results.

Plant Health Australia (PHA) has developed a suite of resources to support the month-long call-to-action campaign including factsheets, posters, flyers, magnets and a new training video that provides guidance to beekeepers on performing an alcohol wash for detecting the presence and monitoring the level of external mites.

The video is an important tool in promoting a new nationally consistent alcohol wash method endorsed last year by the National Bee Biosecurity Steering Committee and was developed in partnership with the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and the New South Wales Government.

The alcohol wash method highlights the importance of washing the sample three times to achieve over 90 per cent mite recovery. It also provides greater clarity on sampling techniques and includes a filtering step to effectively separate the mites from the bees and the solution.

By participating in the Bee Pest Blitz month, Australian beekeepers will fulfil their bee biosecurity obligations and one of the two inspection requirements under the Australian Honey Bee Industry Code of Practice.

Bee Pest Blitz is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, led by Plant Health Australia and supported by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and all state and territory government agriculture agencies. 

Visit beepestblitz.com.au from for free surveillance resources and video tutorial.