The economic value of honey bees in Australia was AU$8.35-19.97 billion in 2015 (Karasińki 2018). Much of this value comes from pollination of 53 agricultural crops. Pollination can improve both the yield and the quality of produce, and 35 Australian industries are dependent on honey bees, with others benefiting from them.
One of the aims of Plan Bee, Australia’s honey bee genetic improvement program, is to survey the needs of beekeepers and growers. While we believe that breeding can make a huge difference to our industries, it can’t solve all our problems – we need to better manage our resources and relationships. Plan Bee is working towards the provision of quality bees and a strong beekeeping industry, a common goal amongst beekeeping and agricultural crops. As such, Plan Bee is facilitating a forum to discuss the triumphs and tribulations with pollination services. The finding will also provide input to the proposed Pollination Security Cooperative Research Centre.
The forum will be held on Zoom on Tuesday 21st June from 3-5pm AEST. You can register at EventBrite. Speakers will include Deidre Jaensch (Almond Board Australia), Steve Fuller (AgriFutures Australia Honey Bee and Pollination board member), Cameron Spurr (Seed Purity), and Nadine Chapman (Plan Bee, University of Sydney).
Plan Bee also has a grower survey and beekeeper survey for you to give your views if you can’t attend the webinar. We are interested in what aspects in the pollination contractor and contractee relationship are working well and what could be improved.
- Karasińki (2018) The economic value of Australian managed and wild honey bee pollinators in 2014-2015. Curtin University
- Register for the webinar at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/pollination-webinar-tickets-358994782057
- Growers survey: https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=NNKWRTC3AJYMPYAP
- Beekeeper survey: https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=DWAEEH8P97FYRR4R
- This article was peer-reviewed by Erica Mo and Ruth Luckner.