Embargo on Beekeeping Equipment
In November 2002 Tasmania introduced movement restrictions on used bee equipment into the State because of the discovery of small hive beetle in New South Wales and Queensland.
The small hive beetle is an exotic pest of honeybee hives in Tasmania and is endemic in southern Africa. In recent years, it has spread to the USA and mainland Australia.
Beekeepers are asked to check their hives and contact the Department immediately if they find any beetles or evidence of beehive damage. Information on the beetle was sent to registered beekeepers.
Small hive beetle has now been found in all mainland states. As a result, Tasmania will maintain restrictions on the importation of package bees, used bee equipment and unprocessed beeswax. Please note that restrictions apply to queen bees with hand-picked escorts in queen cages.
The beetle causes significant damage to stored honey and damage to brood comb. It produces a repellent material that can in severe cases cause the bees to abandon the hive. It can destroy strong honeybee colonies in a matter of weeks.
The beetle can fly up to five kilometres, but is spread mainly by the movement of bees, beehives and unprocessed wax. The small hive beetle does not represent any threat to human health.