A VARROA mite has been found at the Port of Brisbane after an inspection by Biosecurity Queensland. 

But testing confirmed the mite was varroa jacobsoni and not varroa destructor. 

Sentinel hives are stationed near major ports and are a closely monitored colony ready to raise the alarm if a bee carrying the varroa mite arrives in a shipping container to join the swarm. 

The varroa mite parasite attacks and feeds on honeybees has the potential to decimate bee populations. 

Secondary testing is being conducted to determine if the mite is carrying any exotic viruses of honeybees or if any other exotic bee pests are present. 

Biosecurity Queensland is also undertaking tracing activities to identify the potential source and likelihood of spread. 

Surveillance is being conducted to find out if there are any more varroa mites in the area, and a movement control order is in place within a 10-kilometre radius of the detection site.

Minister for agricultural industry development and fisheries and minister for rural communities Mark Furner said the finding was “concerning”. 

“Incidents like this one are why these surveillance hives are in key sites like the Port of Brisbane. This shows that our biosecurity systems are working, and the importance of early surveillance so we can respond swiftly,” minister Furner said.

“It is vital that beekeepers abide by the control order restrictions and follow the advice of Biosecurity Queensland.” 

Both varroa jacobsoni and varroa destructor are classified as prohibited matter under the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014.