Exercise Bee Prepared

Australian governments and the beekeeping industry are improving their readiness to respond to a detection of varroa mite (Varroa destructor) by taking part in Exercise Bee Prepared.

In this series of activities, PHA facilitates the delivery of workshops across the country, testing how to rapidly respond to a detection of this serious pest of honey bees.

Each state and territory government will eventually host an Exercise Bee Prepared activity, in which departmental staff and beekeepers work together on a fictional scenario and develop a response strategy to cover the days immediately following a detection of varroa mite.

The response strategy developed during the exercise activities will be beneficial in the event of a real incursion, so helping Australia to ‘Bee Prepared’.

Working through the process acts to highlight ways in which to improve how Australia responds to exotic pest detections.

Since March 2018, Exercise Bee Prepared activities have been held in Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, with an exercise in Tasmania planned for 17-18 July.

The enthusiasm, commitment and collaboration shown by participants in all activities has itself been a positive outcome.

Over the rest of 2018, PHA will work with the remaining jurisdictions and the Australian Government to complete the Exercise Bee Prepared program of activities. To wrap-up the exercise, a national meeting will assess what’s been learned and agree on a national approach.

If you’d like more information about Exercise Bee Prepared, please contact Stephen Dibley, Program Manager for Training and Biosecurity Preparedness at PHA.

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