Varroa has still been the main focus in time and effort for AHBIC since the last newsletter. When not focused on varroa it has been meetings with many government departments. I sometimes wonder where the industry would be if AHBIC closed its doors due to lack of funding by industry. The following are some of the things that AHBIC have achieved or are working on that industry individuals would not have been able to achieve:
- Getting the bee industry (Honey) in the AUSTRADE tent – a powerful international marketing tool.
- Liaising/assisting RAA with beekeeper ORC reimbursements and speeding up payments.
- Negotiating with PHA to get the best outcome for industry levy monies for the Biosecurity program including BBO’s and also the bee pest surveillance program.
- Providing feedback so that Australian honey can be exported to Vietnam.
- Provide direct input to BQual standards and management.
- Pushing for harmonisation for standards to allow hive movement across state borders (this is getting closer but without AHBIC pushing may take years).
- Lobbying DAFF to have the C3 sugar test included on honey testing protocols for adulterated honeys. Currently only the C4 sugar test is used.
- Lobbying DAFF to increase the level of imported honey testing beyond the current 5% of consignments.
- Applying for grants for industry – we were successful with the Varroa Coordinator submission.
Without donations from Honey Packers, amateur beekeepers and a few dedicated beekeepers, AHBIC could not exist in its current form. There are a lot of beekeepers that reap the benefits of the hard work that AHBIC does (often over many years to get an outcome for industry) – please consider becoming a friend of AHBIC.
Sub committee meetings will be ramped up in the new year. There will be an executive meeting in February to be followed by an AHBIC members meeting. AHBIC strategic plan is up for review. NOT HAPPY WITH AHBIC? – provide input to the strategic review via one of the member bodies or call me on 0428 649 321. If you are NOT a financial member of one of AHBIC’s member bodies or a friend of AHBIC, you are letting yourself, industry and AHBIC down.
Except for the west it has been a tough season to date – hopefully with sunshine and dry weather bees can start bringing in serious amounts of honey.
From all of us at AHBIC have a safe and happy Christmas and may the New Year be a prosperous one for all.