Norfolk Island Pest and Disease Survey — bee survey results

25 November 2022

Conserving and protecting Norfolk Island's rich biodiversity is a key priority for the Australian Government, with targeted Pest and Disease Surveys supporting not only the ongoing management of serious pests and diseases on the Island, but also helping meet Norfolk's food security objectives.

As part of the Norfolk Island Pest and Disease Survey 2021-2023, the Australian Government funded Dr John Roberts of CSIRO to run a bee pest and disease survey.

The aim was to provide a comprehensive update of our understanding of Norfolk Island's honey bee pest and disease status since the last survey in 2012-2014.

Norfolk Island's honey bee population plays an important role in the Island's unique ecosystem, as well as being critical to our agricultural sector. Keeping Norfolk Island's unique honey bee population healthy is a priority.

Supported by local bee keepers, Dr Roberts undertook two surveys. Encouragingly, no new honey bee pests or diseases were found. Dr Roberts did detect three previously reported pests and diseases (Nosema disease, Lesser wax moth and Lake Sinai virus). However, these do not appear to have a significant impact on bee health. Indeed, honey bees on Norfolk Island have the fewest pests and pathogens of any bee population globally.

The report makes a number of recommendations including changes to honey importation regulations, strengthening ongoing surveillance, as well as registration and training for bee keepers.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts will work with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the Norfolk Island Regional Council to consider these recommendations.

We welcome feedback from community members on the recommendations and will reach out to the bee keepers on island to discuss the recommendations in more detail.

Thank you to the community members who supported Dr Roberts and made this survey possible.

The full report from Dr Roberts is available on the Department's website at:

Any enquiries about the survey can be made to:

Eric Hutchinson

Administrator of Norfolk Island
November 2022