Seeking nominations for Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Award

The search is on once again to find Australian agriculture’s biosecurity champions. If you or someone you know goes the extra mile to protect their property from diseases, pests and weeds, nominate now for the 2019 Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Award.

Our primary producers are on the front lines of the national biosecurity system. Small, everyday actions on-farm go a long way to ensuring Australia is secure against exotic, endemic and emerging diseases, pests and weeds.

Australian primary producers, including individuals and organisations can be nominated. This comprises all forms of Australian farming, including large commercial operations and hobby-level farmers that:

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the six biosecurity essentials of the Farm Biosecurity Program:
    • Farm inputs
    • People, vehicles and equipment Production practices
    • Feral animals and weeds
    • Farm outputs
      Train, plan and record
  • Apply biosecurity practices relevant to their property/properties.
  • Carry out biosecurity activities as best-practice preventative measures, rather than in response to specific threats.
  • Show evidence of their biosecurity activities through planning, records, procedures etc.
  • Advocate for proactive on-farm biosecurity practices among their peers.

Winners will be announced and presented with their award at the ABARES Outlook Conference in March 2019 in Canberra.

Closing date for nominations is Friday 9 November 2018. For more information, nomination forms and contact details of organisers, go to

Extensions to the deadline will be considered. Please contact the ABA Secretariat

Thank you in advance for your support of this award.

Download PDF here

Honey Bee Health Survey 2018

You may recall that the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) carried out a survey of our industry for the period 2014-15. As a follow up from that survey and to be able to have some data, AHBIC and Plant Health Australia (PHA) agreed that an annual survey would be useful in keeping an eye on the state of our industry.

PHA was successful in being funded by AgriFutures Australia to carry out this survey.

A short survey has been developed to find out how healthy Australian honey bees are, and what pests and diseases might be causing problems for beekeepers. The results from the survey will be used to decide what help beekeepers might need to keep their honey bees healthy. It will also provide statistics for use by the industry.

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council, Plant Health Australia, and AgriFutures Australia, encourage all Australian beekeepers to take part in this survey, which will only take 10-12 minutes to complete. The survey can be found at

Survey closes December 14th 2018.

For more information go to

Trevor Weatherhead AM
6 November, 2018

Download PDF letter here

Claims of Honey Adulteration

AHBIC is taking this matter very seriously.

We need to know where these samples came from so we can trace them and take necessary action to prevent it happening again. At this time we have no detail as to which segment of the industry is involved.

We are talking with one of the researchers involved in the study to clarify the questions we have and he will be attending a scheduled meeting of AHBIC in the near future.

Right now, the reputation of all Australian honey has been collateral damage and tarnished in a study that found isolated cases of alleged adulterated honey.

We’re working with the Federal Government to discuss what options can be implemented on a national and independent way to protect our industry from issues that call into question the quality of Australian honey.

The 1500+ beekeepers around Australia who make a living from honey production, as well as the 22,000+ who keep bees for pleasure, are today caring for and tending their bees like they do every day. We keep working with our bees because we love it, and because we think Australian honey is the best in the world. We’re all hoping that we can rebuild consumer trust in honey, but we’re going to need government backing and support from honey-lovers to recover from this.

Peter McDonald
9 October, 2018

Download Statement here (PDF 287KB)

B-QUAL Board Vacancy

One of the current Directors on the B-QUAL Board has indicated he is not available to be re-appointed at our AGM later this month. This will leave a vacancy on the Board.

If you are interested in becoming a Director on the B-QUAL Board please send me your details as to why you believe you would be suitable. Details on B-QUAL can be found at

If you know of someone who may be suitable please pass this on to them.

With the recent media publicity on honey, Quality Assurance will become even a more important part of beekeeping in the future.

Trevor Weatherhead AM
Executive Director
5 October, 2018

Download letter here (PDF 224KB)

Statement of Recent Fraudulent Honey Claims

The Australian honey bee industry is a small industry with a BIG impact. The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) believes with 100% pure Australian Honey, we have the absolute best honey in the world.

The whole beekeeping community is disappointed with the allegations of adulteration in the Australian retail honey market and is keen to reassure customers that this is a question about imported honey, not Australian honey. Australian honey is safe and not under question. Australian honey should be trusted.

AHBIC has recently asked the Australian government to begin using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) to test honey imported into Australia as one of the best available methods of testing. AHBIC made this request on the 4th of July 2018 and it is being considered by Government. Since that time AHBIC has become aware of questions about the veracity of the NMR testing on its own as an appropriate testing regime and is continuing discussions with Government as to what is the most effective and reliable suite of testing measures that need to be used to identify adulterated honey.

Through its strategic plan AHBIC has identified as a key priority the need to maintain access to well functioning markets and help maintain a viable domestic honey market. This is underpinned by plans to:

  • take a strong imported bee products and Imported Honey testing/protocol focus and act as “watchdogs” to the ACCC and Government.
  • test imported honey samples and report non-complying products to ACCC.”

This issue highlights the need to increase the current testing rate of only 5% of shipments of honey being imported into Australia and for a better testing regime than currently exists. AHBIC will be working with the Government to achieve this.

AHBIC cannot comment further on the specifics of the current case as it is not aware of the full details, but fully supports a speedy investigation by the ACCC of this matter. AHBIC trusts the ACCC to protect the interests of the consumer.

It is essential at a time like this that the public gets behind Australian beekeepers and companies who provide a reliable and quality honey product.

Peter McDonald
5 September, 2018

Download PDF here

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