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Newsletter Edition - April 2022

  • B-QUAL

    How does B-QUAL certification benefit my business?

    • Product integrity
    • Quality Assurance
    • HACCP based certification
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Industry best practice
    • Biosecurity
    • Access to domestic and export markets

    B-QUAL Certification also enables an enterprise to market its product under the B-QUAL logo to show that it meets the B-QUAL Industry Standards.

    Complete your training at home at your own pace.

    For more information and to obtain a Certification Information Pack, contact the B-QUAL Certification team.

    B-QUAL Pty Ltd
    Phone 0404 381 942
    Email: admin@bqual.com.au

  • B-Trace

    The specially designed app will assist in maintaining hive record information that satisfies the requirements of the National Biosecurity Code of Practice. The program is intended for small commercial and recreational beekeepers who sell honeybee products direct to:

    • Famers Markets
    • Direct to consumers
    • Food stalls
    • Boutique shops, such as Bakeries, Fruit and Vegetable, Delicatessens, Restaurants and similar

    The low annual fee includes the use of the hive management app and an annual desk audit.

    For further information go to www.btrace.com.au

  • News from the Chair

    1. AHBIC has lodged a complaint with the Queensland Health Department re some Indian honey that was found on the shelves in Perth. Analysis by Hive and Wellness has found it to be adulterated. The reason we need to lodge in Queensland is that as the States enforce the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Codes they have an agreement that any complaint is lodged in the State where the people who imported the product are based. So in this case it was imported by a company in Queensland.
      AHBIC has also lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). More information as it comes to hand.
    2. AHBIC applied for membership of the Agriculture Consultative Committee (AgCC) for a two-year term covering 2022 and 2023. Great news we have been granted membership. This will present an excellent opportunity to advance our industry causes within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
    3. Most would have seen the new $2 coin the Australian Mint put out to celebrate that it is 200 years since the honey bee was successfully introduced into Australia. We thank the Australian Mint for their work in producing this coin. I hear that it was one of the fastest selling coins. I have been asked why did industry not know about this until it was launched? That is because just a few of the Executive were involved in the negotiations with the Australian Mint on the coin and we were asked to not say anything until the launch. The public reaction has been in the main very positive. There have been the expected negative comments from those opposed to honey bees but that is part for the course.
    4. Our attention has been drawn to Bunnings selling beekeeping equipment that is imported from the USA. AHBIC is in conversation with Bunnings re this in particular that it seems to be different sizes to that sold in Australia and also the beeswax. Will let you know how we progress.
    5. We are progressing re appointing a new CEO. A sort list will be available soon for us to consider and then the interview process.
    6. I hope you registered early for the 4th Australian Bee Congress in Sydney in June. Early bird registrations have closed but registrations are still open. I hope to see you there.
    7. Nuffield Scholarships are now available. For details go to https://www.nuffield.com.au/how-to-apply Note application close on 17 June.
    8. For those of you that are eligible the following is something you may wish to consider. Pacific Australia Mobility Scheme https://www.palmscheme.gov.au/
    9. News from the NT Farmers newsletter. I put these here as some beekeepers may get caught up in this when they carry out pollination of melons.
      Plant Health Australia (PHA) and Melons Australia have teamed up for a new one-year Melon Industry Extension for Biosecurity project to strengthen melon growers’ resilience in biosecurity response, recovery capacity and understanding of proactive on-farm biosecurity practices. Visit Melons Australia and Plant Health Australia for more information on melon industry biosecurity.
    10. Not sure if any beekeepers employ their staff on piece work rates. There have been changes made to this. Details can be found at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/newsroom/news/new-minimum-wage-guarantee-pieceworkers?fbclid=IwAR3Uej6SXm0-tTRZ3dX9ot4J_vG6Fig3587AScj6vaL95BR-7uBjCTgj4ko
  • Note from Acting CEO

    This month has been all about the congress and assisting the team in organising the congress event. In between that I have submitted an industry election wish list to the department, attended (virtually) the National Traceability Summit, a debrief of the 2021 Almond bee death event with Vic department representatives, attended the Almond Board Pollination committee, Plant Health Australian (PHA) meetings, CRC for pollination bid meetings, AHBIC education sub-committee, and numerous comms project meetings.

    Imported honey issue

    As highlighted to DAWE in our issues paper imported honey is a big industry issue. We can’t stop genuine honey coming into Australia as we are free trade economy, and we can’t create unjustifiable barriers to trade like other countries can. But there are a few things we can do.

    We are lobbying to create greater enforcement of the few rules we do have through increasing and targeting border testing, we are lobbying government to adopt and mandate more advanced testing procedures to identify adulteration, we are promoting 100% Australian honey through a consumer facing ‘home sweet home’ campaign, and we are testing and reporting any identified imported honey on the shelves that we find that fail the basic tests. In addition we have gained a seat at the ACCC AgCC table to push our agenda and we are partitioning to participate in the international honey standards committee.

    National Traceability Summit

    Organised by DAWE the summit discussed the challenges that lay ahead for Australian Ag competing on the world stage. The summit highlighted three main areas to tackle, data, regulation and value creation. Each of these topic areas had focus groups where participants worked in detail through the topics to develop some solutions. Focus areas under the three main topics included ownership, data interoperability, transparency, certification, incentivising and digital fitness. We will see more from the department in the future on traceability. This will be a big focus for export markets, further emphasising why B-QUAL is so important to our industry.


    The congress organising is well under way. We have all our speakers confirmed with the program being updated constantly online. We have met our forecasted targets for early bird registration and we are exceeding our targets for sponsorship and trade exhibitor packages, congratulations to the organising team for the work so far. It is going to be a great 4 days!

  • Hear from one of our members


    Another short month with lots of beekeeping activities has passed, with a regular honey season coming to an end. Some bees have moved up north to get York gum, and others down south collecting Yate nectar for some winter honey. A few beekeepers have started to send bees over to Canada to support bringing their stocks back up.

    This month’s board meeting has been re-scheduled, and Industry news gets assembled as the AHBIC Newsletter goes to print. BICWA will have more news next month.

    BICWA has been working on preparing for the Forest Management Plan (FMP) 2024-33 focus group sessions, which will conclude at the end of April. These sessions will run in line with the recently released FMP community survey. We encourage all beekeepers and anyone interested in our forests to submit a response to the 20-minute survey.


    A lot of buzzes have gone into the 2022 Honey Month May organisation, with activities already beginning this Sunday!

    We are excited about all upcoming events and invite you to check out all listings on our webpage: https://www.bicwa.com.au/honey-month-calendar-2022

    Talk to you next month, and don’t forget to subscribe to our webpage and like us on Facebook.

    Brendon Fewster

  • Member bodies conference dates


    National Council of Crop Pollination Associations 16 May, – Penrith, NSW
    New South Wales Apiarists Association 18th-19th May – Penrith, NSW
    Tasmanian Beekeepers Association 26th-27th May – Hobart, TAS
    Queensland Beekeepers Association 15th-16th June – Toowoomba, QLD
    South Australian Apiarists Association 22nd-23rd June
    Victorian Apiarists Association 6th-7th July – Bendigo, VIC
    Australian Honey Bee Industry Council – AGM 8th July – Bendigo, VIC
    Honey Packers and Marketers Association TBA
    Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association TBA
    Bee Industry Council of WA Cancelled


  • Notice of AHBIC Annual General Meeting

    Currently – Trevor Weatherhead (will not be renominating).

    Executive Positions
    – Peter Barnes – eligible to renominate (will not be renominating).
    – Ben McKee – eligible to renominate.

    To nominate for Chair the following process applies form the constitution:

    7.7 Nominations of candidates for election as Chair of AHBIC:-

    a. shall be made in writing, signed by one voting delegate and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate.

    b. each nominee may submit a two hundred (200) word statement.

    c. the nomination shall be delivered to the Secretary not less than twenty eight days prior to the date fixed for the holding of the Annual General Meeting. All delegates are to be notified of all nominations at least fourteen days prior to the holding of the Annual General Meeting.

    d. If no nominations are received as required under sub-rules 7.7 (a) and 7.7 (c), nominations shall be taken from the floor at the next Annual General Meeting.

    Observers are allowed at the AHBIC AGM but any observers MUST register with AHBIC and pay the associated cost via emailing AHBIC@Honeybee.org.au.


  • 4th Australian Bee Congress Sponsors

    Principal Congress Sponsor

    Tradeshow Exhibitors (more to come…)
    Agrifutures Honey Bee & Pollination
    Apisafe by White Pak
    Australian Rainforest Honey Pty Ltd
    Browns Bees Australia Pty Ltd
    Clayton Plastics
    CRC for Honey Bee Products
    Dalrymple View Apiary Supplies
    Ezyloader – M & K Stafford Engineering Pty Ltd
    Goldfields Honey Australia Pty Ltd
    HD Process NZ Ltd
    Healy Group
    Hornsby Beekeeping Supplies
    JBee Equipment
    Kelvin Trading Pty Ltd
    Lockwood Beekeeping Supplies
    Lyson Beekeeping Supplies
    MyApiary Ltd
    NSW Department Primary Industries Tocal College
    Nuplas Apiarist Supplies
    Oz Armour
    Prestige Stainless Pty Ltd
    Redox Pty Ltd
    SCHŰTZ Australia Pty Ltd
    Select Harvests
    Simons Boilers
    Steritech Pty Ltd
    Termseal Australia Pty Ltd T/A Pest Control Direct
    Thermal Panel Solutions Pty Ltd
    Wheen Bee Foundation
  • Friends of AHBIC

    If you aren’t already a Friend of AHBIC, we welcome you to join our group of organisations and individuals who are supporting Australia’s national beekeeping industry that supports you.