14 September, 2023

Rural Aid offers relief to varroa-affected beekeepers

AUSTRALIA’S most trusted rural charity has restated its support of commercial beekeepers as concern mounts over the continuing spread of the invasive varroa mite and its devastating impact on the nation’s honeybees.

Rural Aid offers relief to varroa-affected beekeepers - feature photo

More than 260 outbreaks of varroa mite have now been detected since June 2022, when the alarm was first raised at the Port of Newcastle.

“Like everyone involved in agriculture, Rural Aid is enormously concerned for our beekeepers and our ‘littlest livestock’,” Chief Executive Officer, John Warlters, said.

“Rural Aid is supporting beekeepers with an offer of $1,500 of financial assistance and rural counsellors on standby to provide emotional support.”

The detection of varroa mite in hives in the Sunraysia region of southern New South Wales – one of the most heavily bee dependent regions for the pollination of crops – has further heightened concerns for the industry.

NSW DPI said Sunraysia was currently hosting the largest concentration of managed European honeybee hives in Australia to provide pollination services for almond orchards.

Rural Aid has provided more than $500,000 to beekeepers since 2015 and is ready to again provide a ‘hand up’ to producers when it was needed most.

“Our thoughts are with beekeepers and their families at this time. It must be soul destroying to see precious hives euthanased on top of the significant financial impact,” Mr Warlters.

“Rural Aid has experienced an increase in calls from distressed beekeepers who are understandably upset that their livelihoods and livestock are in jeopardy.

“Our counselling team is specially trained to help primary producers navigate crisis amd encourage apiarists to reach out to Rural Aid,” Mr Warlters said.

“We are urging affected beekeepers to get in touch with Rural Aid at this distressing time.”

Varroa-mite affected beekeepers can apply for assistance at

Donations can be made at


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