Bees continue to be killed as the NSW Department of Primary Industries presses ahead with its bid to eradicate the varroa mite.
A NSW DPI statement said tracing and surveillance work had confirmed three new detections of the parasite in the Newcastle area in NSW's Hunter region, bringing the total number of infested premises to 62.
Millions of bees in about 4600 hives have been euthanised.
Two new detections occurred at Phoenix Park in Maitland and Brandy Hill in Port Stephens, both in the Hunter region.
A DPI spokesperson said there had been an increase in hives being euthanised, as the department "increased surveillance around the outer edges of the purple and yellow zones [surveillance and notification zones] to draw a firmer line around the edges of the varroa infestation".
"Now we have a clearer picture of the edges of the spread, we are refocusing efforts back to tracing and euthanising hives in the confirmed red zones [eradication zones] which has resulted in an increased number of hives being euthanised."
DPI official Chris Anderson said the department had issued a new emergency order to include the new sites, but "the overall area covered by the eradication zones has not changed significantly".
"The positive news is that so far all confirmed cases either have clear links to existing cases or are geographically related, so we continue to focus our efforts on eradication," Mr Anderson said.
Newcastle beekeeper Neil Livingstone has urged the government to stop killing bees, saying "we need to learn to live with" the mite.
He believes the mite can't be eliminated.
DPI said it was "technically feasible and economically beneficial to pursue this".
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