Media Release: Healthy Forests, Bees & People

Healthy Forests, Healthy Bees, Healthy People

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council has expressed concern over the misrepresentation of its views about sustainable forest management, which benefits the community at large.

Peter McDonald, Chair of the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) said:

Despite reports in The Guardian, the beekeeping industry wishes to work collaboratively with the forestry industry and state governments to ensure access to resources in state forests. ALL values and uses of the forests need to be recognised throughout Australia.

We intend to educate members of various state governments that access to multi age and mixed species in well managed forests is vital for both honey production and bee health before the pollination season, which varies from crop to crop, where bees are essential for productive crops and food security.

The beekeeping industry is open to discussion about ways to improve the management of forests for the benefit of all forest uses, including both forestry and beekeeping.

Policy makers need to understand that about 70 per cent of our honey is produced from native eucalypts in our forests.

The beekeeping industry appreciates being able to use current forestry infrastructure such as roads to access beekeeping sites.

We support the comments made by Minister Littleproud in response to the misrepresentation by The Guardian and understand he has re-iterated the importance of the beekeeping industry being a part of the Regional Forest Agreement process. All values and uses need to be recognised in perpetuity through the RFA process.

If you want a glimpse of the disaster that awaits our beekeeping industry and Australia’s food security as a consequence, we only have to look at Queensland which is facing the potential loss of about 1,180 bee sites by 2024 as a result of excluding our legitimate forest use. This number will be far greater with further planned forestry conversion into National Parks.

Poor access and massive fuel loads to feed wildfires are unfortunately the hallmarks of unmanaged forests and none of these issues are conducive to healthy beekeeping.

Well managed multi-use forests involving forestry, beekeeping, and recreation will always deliver the best conservation, economic and social outcomes.” 2 April 2019

Media Contacts:
Peter McDonald: 0427 722 167
Sarah Paradice: 0402 467 780

Download the media release here (PDF 164KB)

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Welcome The New CEO

With the retirement of Trevor Weatherhead as the Executive Director and the new five (5) year strategic plan now in place, the AHBIC Executive are pleased to announce that they have appointed Sarah Paradice as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Sarah will start officially on 2 January, 2019.

Sarah lives just outside Canberra in New South Wales.

Before starting with us Sarah has been the CEO for the Institute of Foresters and the Executive Officer for the Australia Forest Growers based in Canberra.

Contact details will be advised when she takes up her new role.

We welcome Sarah and I am sure you will give her your assistance when she starts in the New Year.

Trevor Weatherhead AM
Executive Director
13 November, 2018

Download PDF announcement here (223KB)


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

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