pests & diseases

Honeybee Diseases and Pests Summary

Read information about Honeybee Pests and Diseases on the links below

Submit a Brood Sample – link to Qld Dept Agriculture and Fisheries’ Bee Brood Sample Form.  Use this form when forwarding a sample to the Dept for clarification of a suspect problem in your hive.

Biosecurity Manual for the Honey Bee Industry”  Plant Health Australia (PHA) has published a   (2016) which is a 60 page, full colour Manual with information and descriptive photos on exotic & established pests affecting honey bees.     This can be download for free.

 Some of the topics covered in this manual are:

  • Pests
  • Keeping Honey Bees Healthy
  • Pest Surveillance
  • Product Management

  • Biosecurity & Quality Assurance
  • Movement of Hives, Honey Bee Products & Equipment
  • Biosecurity Best Practice Checklist
  • Fact Sheets on Pests and Diseases.

Additional information on honeybee pests and diseases can be found on the following links: –


The Varroa mite is one of the most serious problems threatening honey bees in the world today.   Australia is now the only continent in the world that does not have the varroa mite.
Read articles on the varroa mite

Asian Honey Bee

Honeybees not only produce honey, but play a vital role in the balance of nature, especially the pollination of agricultural crops, horticultural crops and the household garden.

In North Queensland there is an established pest population of Asian honey bees (Apis cerana, Java strain).  To date it is still confined to North Queensland but has the potential to rapidly spread to the rest of Australia, especially by transportation on land or by sea.  There are a number of Asian bees throughout the world, but this particular strain of Asian bee (Java strain) has unfavourable attributes.  It is very flighty which makes it very difficult  to box into hives and manage for honey production or for pollination of crops.  It also creates quite small nests, swarms prolifically and produces only small amounts of honey.  It will swam into small cavaties such as letter boxes and small bird nests and in the Solomon Island, has all but wiped out the European Honeybee population.

In Australia it has been estimated that every third mouthful of food we eat reuires pollination by honeybees.  Without European honeybees, our food supply in Australia would be greatly deminished.  Many of our agricultural and horticultural crops are either totally dependant on or greatly benefit from honeybee pollination.

The Asian bee is the natural host of the devastating varroa mite.  Australia is now the only continent in the world that does not have this mite.  Fortunately, the swam of Asian bees that landed in Cairns from a boat was not carrying this mite.  However, any new bee incursion may carry this mite and with a resident population of Asian bees in Australia, would rapidly spread.

Small Hive Beetle

American Foulbrood Diseases (AFB)

            Brood or adult bees specimen advice sheet

**** Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, American foulbrood is prescribed as restricted matter category 1. This means that you must report it as soon as you become aware of its presence and you must not take any action that may worsen the biosecurity risk posed by American foulbrood. You must also take action to minimise the risk, such as controlling the disease and preventing it from spreading within your apiary and to other apiaries.

European Foulbrood Disease (EFB)

  Brood or adult bees specimen advice sheet

Chalk Brood

  Brood or adult bees specimen advice sheet



  Brood or adult bees specimen advice sheet


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