The NSW Bee population is facing extinction. The culprit is said to be Varroa Mite (V. destructor), but many see the overkill response by the DPI - The Department of Primary Industries, to be the actual culprit. The DPI in their floundering mismanagement, who stuffed up in the first place by treating the ground zero centre of the varroa mite infestation and then proceeded to work outwards, rather than containing it from an outside-in 10km radius, to ensure it was contained. But as usual, these departmental responses mirror 'the three stooges' style of commonsense. This very likely contributed to the spread, which now reaches Northern NSW and Northern NSW tablelands.
June 2022 in Newcastle, Varroa mite was discovered. The DPI proceeded to enact a poisonous treatment plan of inhumanely destroying hives by pouring in petrol, sealing up the hives and then burning them as well as setting toxic Fipronil baiting stations every 2.5km within the Red Zones. One month into the 2022 varroa mite outbreak in July 2022, it was reported that over 15 million Bees and over 1500 hives were destroyed, even hives that had tested clear had been destroyed.
Fast forward to May 2023, 10 months down the road as of May 2023, an estimated 24,000+++ commercial Bee hives have been eradicated in the Red Zones. With approximately 40,000-80,000 Bees per hive, and based on a median of 50,000 per hive, we can conservatively estimate that well over 1,200,000,000 Bees have been murdered and this does not include other pollinators who have ingested the fipronil. This estimate also does not include native bee hives or bait stations placed in the wild, such as in National Parks and State Forests and reserves.
Veteran beekeeper Dolphi Benesh estimates that if the DPI continues its measures, 150,000 beehives and 45000 feral swarms will be killed. That could mean over 7,500,000,000 Billion++ Bees.
Aside from the destruction of individual Bee hives, Fipronil stand alone bait stations have been implemented. The aim is for the feral or wild honey Bees to go in, drink the sugary poison, take the poison back to their hives and feed it to the colony and they will all die. The honey Bees also frequent Native Bee hives, thus passing the poison to native hives as well as to flowers, to native birds and other pollinators such as butterfly's, bats, sugar gliders, fly's, beetles, moths, lizards, skinks, geckos, wasps, lorikeet, wattle bird, other honey eaters, carnivorous marsupials, flying fox, honey possums, eastern spinebill/hummingbird, squirrel gliders and swift parrots to name a few.
Here is where the potential problems lie. Courtesy of Save the Bees Australia
Once the feral hive is dead the poisoned honey and wax is left behind. This can and will be accessed by all wildlife. Including the Australian native bees, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals. If they eat this poisoned honey they to will die
Fipronil is active for 3 years, that means anything for the next 3 years that comes in contact with it, will die
There is no way the dpi will be able to go in and find these poisoned hives as our environment is so dense and access is near impossible throughout the national parks.
There has so far been no testing on the long term affects this will have on our environment or ecosystem.
Fipronil is a banned substance in Europe, UK and Japan and here we are allowing it to be spread throughout NSW
Fipronil will kill most of the bee pollinators and the pollination of most of the edible foods, on the East Coast will be non-existent.
This will mean in practical terms that there will be a food shortage from local farms and home vegie gardens in the affected areas, which place large corporate food manufactures and indoor/hothouse farms in a monopoly position.
Threat to Biodiversity
Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide. Fipronil acts by disrupting the central nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and death. It is a highly potent pesticide that persists in the environment and has long-term toxic effects on non-target species.
"National parks are critical areas for conserving biodiversity, and the use of Fipronil poison can have devastating impacts on these fragile ecosystems. Fipronil can persist in soil and water for extended periods, leading to contamination of the environment and the death of non-target organisms. This can disrupt the delicate balance of ecosystems, leading to declines in native species and loss of biodiversity". Save the Bees Australia.
Fipronil BANNED in the EU & U.S
Other countries treatments. Fipronil poisoning Banned in most countries, in the U.S and the whole of the EU since 2013. So WHY is Australia still using it? Varroa Mite detecting Dogs were being trained up until 2015, why was this stopped when it was an effective detection method?
Continued Bungling & Destruction
Beekeepers within the NSW blue zone who wish to move bees or hives into QLD or Victoria must apply for a permit through Department of Agriculture.
Why is the DPI opening the borders when they still gotta deal with active cases?
7000 square kilometres of poisoned eradication zones, bee free for 3years, DPI is still finding new zones".
Previously Dpi nsw explains;
“The fastest way to spread Varroa mite is by people moving honeybees, hives and apiary equipment between apiary sites.
That's why we put movement restrictions in place as soon as the first mites were detected and confirmed".
Beekeepers in the red zones are at breaking point
“Why are they killing my healthy hives while potentially spreading Varroa around the state and interstate?"https://www.facebook.com/savethebeesau
Loss of pollinators opens the door to Ag-Tech indoor farming, synthetic foods and insect proteins.
"Pollination is mutually beneficial to plants and to pollinators. While the plants receive pollination ecosystem services, pollinators receive nectar and/or pollen rewards from the flowers that they visit. Sugary nectar provides pollinators with carbohydrates while pollen offers proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and necessary phytochemicals.
Without pollinators, our diets would be severely limited, and it would be more difficult to acquire the variety of vitamins and minerals that we need to stay healthy".
A loss of insect pollinators would dramatically affect the viability of a diverse plant industry, and therefore the diversity of the human diet".
Plans to Eradicate the Competition?
What better way to push the new fourth industrial revolution diets on us with insects as protein, 3D printed and synthetic food industry as divulged by CSIRO, the World Economic Forum, the Rockefeller Foundation, than to destroy natural pollination and fresh food production on the East Coast.
There are some who have the European honey Bee in their sights for eradication as they believe them to be feral unless 'commercially bred for the large honey corporations'. The honey Bee is also seen as an invasive pest that competes with the native pollinators including the native Bee, but when it comes to honey, bees wax and honeycomb, the native Bee is nowhere close to being able to produce the same amount.
"Pollination by wild Bees (including feral honey bees) has been found to be complementary to that of managed honey Bees in over 40 crop systems in 19 countries, including Australia. In a study in 2011...the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), now the DPI, has implemented a comprehensive Varroa management strategy that focuses on the use of domesticated and non-domesticated pollinators other than the honey Bee, underscoring the importance of pollination research that relates to invasion ecology, competitive release, and alternative pollinators (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries 2011).
In addition, a CSIRO biosecurity analysis reiterated the V. destructor threat as one of its top “megashock” threats to be prepared for in the coming decades, further underlining the significance (CSIRO 2014). With the threat of Varroa, the role that native bees play in Australian pollination services is becoming of increasing interest and importance (Blanche et al. 2006; Batley and Hogendoorn 2009).
In Australia, as in New Zealand and worldwide, managing landscapes to enhance densities of native bees and other alternative pollinators may help reduce reliance on honey bee pollination in some systems. While the arrival of V. destructor in Australia will undoubtedly be damaging economically, the loss of feral honey bees may have a positive impact on the conservation of native bees"National Library of Medicine (PubMed)
Was minimising competition between introduced and native Bees the plan all along? It seems as though it is certainly been seriously considered by both new Zealand and Australia. One cannot read the above article without asking the obvious. What is not taken into account in this NZ report is that even though Australia's native Bee is not affected by Varroa Mite, the transference of Fipronil to native hives by affected pollinators WILL kill them off also.
Compensation Won't Feed the State!
Blood money compensation of $18Million was authorised in June 2022 when only 1,693 hives had been eradicated. But now with an estimate of 25,000 hives having been destroyed, that equates to $720 per hive as compensation and the prediction of up to 150,000 hives is not impossible with the way the DPI is handling the situation, especially if hives are allowed to cross borders into Victoria and QLD. The paltry amount of compensation does not even come close to the loss of income and industry for small commercial honey enterprises, let alone the collateral loss of the non-target pollinators.
Dolfi Benesh a veteran commercial Bee keeper has started a crowdfunding initiative to take the matter to the Supreme Court for A PERMANENT INJUNCTION and a total BAN ON KILLING BEES. You can see the cause via the above link or jump onto Save the Bees Australia on Facebook to keep up to date.
The DPI handled the whole situation in true Keystone Cops fashion.