Beeswax in Australia

Concern has been expressed over several years now about the importation of beeswax, both as foundation or block, into Australia.

AHBIC has written to the Federal Department of Agriculture about these concerns and received a response. The Department advised that as beeswax is not a food then they cannot regulate the importation or even check that it is beeswax. It is now up to the beekeeping industry to start a campaign to ask beekeepers and the public not to buy or use any imported beeswax, particularly beeswax foundation.

In the past AHBIC has had beeswax tested from China and there have also been other people who have had beeswax analysed. The results are that this imported beeswax contained several chemicals that were probably introduced during Varroa mite controls and are not permitted in beeswax in Australia. Disturbingly the results also showed there was a high amount of paraffin wax in what was being sold as pure beeswax.

AHBIC is asking all State Associations and beekeeping groups in Australia to ask beekeepers not to use imported beeswax foundation. This is the only way we can make sure that our beeswax stays pure and the price premium for that clean wax can be maintained on the world market. The message also needs to be extended to the public to build awareness of the potential exposure to chemicals in purchasing overseas beeswax. Australian beeswax is pure and needs to stay that way. Buy only Australian beeswax to protect our industry and use only Australian beeswax for your own wellbeing. Use your journals, meetings, newsletters and social media to get this message out.

Included in this publicity is to ask beekeepers if they have purchased imported beeswax foundation, to supply AHBIC with a sample and we will have it analysed. If the foundation is found to have unwanted chemicals or is adulterated with other waxes then we can lodge a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and ask for a prosecution.

It is up to Australian beekeepers and the public to make sure that we maintain our clean beeswax.

Download statement here

13 August 2020

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