Apis cerana and Varroa jacobsoni in Townsville – No. 17

In the two and half months since I last reported there have been no Asian bees found in Townsville.

Under the Response Plan the eradication phase of the program ended on 28 February and we now move into the proof of freedom stage. It is anticipated that the proof of freedom stage will last for three (3) years unless there are more findings of Asian bees and Varroa jacobsoni.

In February I spent a day in Townsville talking with the leaders of the eradication response. I was pleased with the discussions I had. Now the proof of freedom stage has been started there will be a reduction in the staffing numbers. Key members of the eradication program will be retained.

Thank you to the industry volunteers who went to Townsville to help out. Your input, particularly in showing the local beekeepers how to carry out sugar shakes, alcohol washes and drone uncapping, were very much appreciated by the local beekeepers. This testing forms an important part of the proof of freedom stage.

One of the staff who will moving onto another job is Roger Winton. Roger came in as the local controller when the Asian bees and V. jacobsoni were first found. I found Roger very easy to work with. So thank you Roger for your work. Best of luck in your new job.

So at this stage I will not be putting out any more information bulletins unless there is a change in the situation in Townsville.

Trevor Weatherhead
Executive Director
2 March, 2017

Downlaod PDF here (268KB)

February 2017 Newsletter

Download AHBIC’s February 2017 newsletter here (PDF 936KB)


Bee Biosecurity Officer in NSW – Position Available

Unfortunately Haley Pragert, who had been employed as the Bee Biosecurity Officer in New South Wales, resigned for family reasons.

The position is now being advertised. Details can be found at: iworkfor.nsw.gov.au

If you know of someone who may be interested please pass this information on to them. Please note that applications close on the 7 March, 2017.

Download AHBIC Special News here (PDF 429KB)

January 2017 Newsletter

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


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

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