January 2017 Newsletter

Download AHBIC’s January 2017 newsletter here (PDF 855KB)


December 2016 Newsletter

Download AHBIC’s December 2016 newsletter here (PDF 784KB)


Beekeepers and farmers encouraged to use technology to communicate this season

Media Release – AHBIC and Cotton Australia (21/12/16):

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) and Cotton Australia are calling on all farmers and beekeepers to use online tools to better communicate with each other to protect bees and crops.

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says the BeeConnected app facilitates communication between farmers and beekeepers as a tool to ensure crop protection is conducted safely, responsibly and according to label requirements.

“Two-way communication between neighbouring primary producers is key to respecting their ability to earn a decent income from their operation,” Mr Kay says.

“It is critical for all farmers, regardless of what crop they are growing, to have two-way communication with beekeepers and utilise tools like BeeConnected.”

“The BeeConnected tool enables collaboration between beekeepers, farmers, consultants and spray contractors to facilitate best practice pollinator protection. Users registered on BeeConnected are alerted when beekeeping or crop protection activities are logged within a 10 kilometre radius.”

AHBIC Executive Director Trevor Weatherhead says that rainfall in recent months has brought about a good season for many summer crops and native vegetation.

“It is particularly important for beekeepers and farmers to communicate between December and February. This is when a number of crops and natives are in full bloom and when conditions are right for insects to forage,” Mr Weatherhead says.

“It’s critical for all beekeepers, growers, consultants and spray applicators to be on BeeConnected to enable two-way communication. This is particularly important in areas where summer crops are being planted where they have not been grown before, or at least not for a few seasons.”

Farmers and beekeepers should use this checklist:

  1. Plan ahead: Register your farm or hives on BeeConnected to alert and communicate local farmers and beekeepers in your area.
  2. Log activities: Growers, consultants and spray applicators log upcoming crop protection activities.
  3. Communicate and cooperate: All users can then use BeeConnected’s built-in messaging service to coordinate activities or privately share any relevant information they choose to.

BeeConnected is available at no cost on iPhone, Android and desktop computers and is run by CropLife Australia in partnership with AHBIC. More information is available at beeconnected.org.au

Cotton Australia is the peak representative body for Australia’s cotton growing industry. AHBIC is the peak representative body for the honey bee industry in Australia.

Media contacts:
Adam Kay
CEO, Cotton Australia
0437 695 222

Samuel Evangelinos
Communications Officer, Cotton Australia
0421 761 336 or SamuelE@cotton.org.au

Trevor Weatherhead
Executive Director, AHBIC
07 5467 2265

Download PDF here (100KB)

Apis cerana and Varroa jacobsoni in Townsville – No. 16

Thought I would let you know that since the destruction of the tenth nest in November there have been no foraging Asian bees seen in Townsville.

Departmental staff are out actively carrying out floral sweeping and also using the helium balloon to check for Asian bee drones.

Local beekeepers have commenced the second round of checking managed hives by either alcohol washes, sugar shakes or drone brood uncapping. Tests to date have been negative for Varroa jacobsoni.

The industry volunteer program has been suspended at the moment due to the impeding wet season.

The Department have distributed over 62,000 leaflets to Townsville residents asking them to be on the lookout for Asian bees or feral European bee nests. The public response has been very pleasing with all reports being follow up.

Trevor Weatherhead
Executive Director
19 December, 2016

Apis cerana and Varroa jacobsoni in Townsville – No. 15

Advice has been received that on Friday 11 November a nest of Asian bees was found in Queens Park in North Ward. It was about 5 metres up in a curtain fig tree. It was about 3 kilometres west from the original find at the port, 1IP.

Extraction was not easy and most of the dead bees were not able to be collected as they fell into a hollow section of the tree when sprayed.

Examination of the brood comb revealed no V. jacobsoni.

It is estimated to be between 3 and 6 months old. No queen cells or remnants of queen cells were found.

A new numbering system is now being used and this find becomes 169POR. It is the tenth detection.

Advice has been received that genetic analysis of the first nine (9) detections show they are all related and as such originated from just one incursion.

Trevor Weatherhead
Executive Director
21 November, 2016

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