Four new cases of varroa mite have been identified in the Kempsey region, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has confirmed.
It means the existing Eradication Emergency Zone (EEZ) has been extended, raising concerns for beekeepers in the Port Macquarie-Hastings.
The new cases are in Kempsey, South Kempsey, Aldavilla and Dondingalong and were discovered through testing and DPI surveillance.
President of the Hastings Valley Amateur Beekeepers Association Stuart Redman said members are on "tenterhooks".
Mr Redman's property is located at the Hatch and has now been included in the purple 25km surveillance zone.
"We're not that far away from it here in the Hastings," he said.
"Being in the purple zone means I can't move my bees anywhere and I have to continue to do alcohol washes every 16 weeks to see if they have the varroa mite."
If Mr Redman does detect any varroa mites on his bees, they will be euthanised.
"It's tough for commercial beekeepers because that's their livelihood.
"For me it's a hobby, but those bees are my bees and anything that might happen to them is quite distressing."
Mr Redman has been a beekeeper since 2017 and has five hives on his property.
This is the closest varroa mite has been to the Port Macquarie area since it was first detected in Australia in two sentinel hives at the Port of Newcastle on June 22, 2022.
"We have over 100 members in the Hastings Valley Bee Association and everyone is on tenterhooks about what could happen," he said.
James Wardrope, owner of James the Honey Man, said it's "unfortunate" the varroa mite has reached beekeepers on the Mid North Coast.
"I think it's inevitable that it's going to continue to increase," he said.
Mr Wardrope has 40 hives at Kundabung and has been in operation for two years.
"The DPI are trying very hard to eradicate it, but I think they're just fighting a lost cause now," he said.
"The rest of the world has had varroa for 100 years and we need to be educating people on how to keep the mite count down as low as we can.
"The DPI can keep trying to eradicate it, but I don't believe in destroying hives that haven't got varroa mite."
Daryl Brenton is a fourth generation beekeeper from Collombatti who owns the commercial business The BeeKeeper.
He has 600 of his hives in the surveillance zone.
Narelle Fox, his sales assistant, was selling The BeeKeeper products at the Real Food Markets in Port Macquarie on Tuesday, August 22.
"He's just got his queen breeding up and running and they're worth $600 each," she said.
"He said that there's a lot of confusion at the moment with what beekeepers can and can't do."
Beekeepers affected by the varroa mite cluster are expected to be briefed on the situation by DPI in the coming days.
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