The volatility of the Varroa Mite outbreak affecting the MIA has left growers anxious and uncertain, with pollination for many crops just around the corner.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries announced late on Wednesday it would allow beekeepers to move hives out of recently declared surveillance zones in almond pollination areas to manage biosecurity risks.
A new infestation was discovered at Balranald on Saturday, as well as two more sites impacted in the New England region.
"These new infested premises all had surveillance because of hive movement declarations showing movements from Kempsey emergency zones," the DPI's chief plant protection officer Shane Hetherington said.
"We know this news will be disappointing and worrying to beekeepers in the New England region who have been free from Varroa until now, but we are confident we have discovered the infestation quickly, and our surveillance will give us a good picture of any other spread.
"Our teams are rapidly following all movements from the Kempsey zones and we ask the community to continue working with us as we track down the source of this cluster which is behind so many of these new IPs."
For farmers like Yenda's Peter Raccanello, the loosening of the restrictions is a godsend with his prune orchards now in need of pollination.
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But he is concerned the rules could change at any moment.
"I've just recently heard my beekeeper has a permit to move from the surveillance zone which is great news," Mr Raccanello said.
"In the next day or so he will be looking to move his hives from almond orchards. But from when he comes onto my block pollination will take two to three weeks for it to occur and realistically anything could happen in that time. So there's a real sense of uncertainty about that.
"I've got one row in full bloom and the bulk will need pollinating from next week so it's crunch time to get those hives in.
"If there's a sudden lockdown, that will impact things greatly because you simply can't get enough wild bees and insects to pollinate a crop and keep it consistent and reliable."
Mr Raccanello believes it goes without saying Varroa mite is now here to stay.
"We were lucky not to have it for a long time, but now that luck has run out," he said.
"We will just have to manage them the same way as the rest of the world. There's talk 100,000 hives in our area might have to be destroyed which is an incredible loss. Getting more bees and establishing new hives is no easy task.
"With all the wild hives out there, I don't believe this pest is ever going to be controllable either," he said.
His bee keeper, Jaye Hughes, says the permit requirements and the system around that are making the process all the more slower.
"It is a very slow. There is queue and I have at least four orchards in need of my assistance," Mr Hughes said.
"The issue is, you can come out of the surveillance zone easily enough but going into a surveillance zone require permits which takes time.
"It's very frustrating and meanwhile I'm getting phone calls from growers from as far as Leeton saying they need the bees now but. Unfortunately there's just no way of speeding up the process."
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