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Newsletter Edition - February 2022

  • From the Chair

    1. An update from the Executive on where we are with regard to a new CEO. The Executive are in the final throws of finalising the Position Description for the CEO. The opportunity was taken to update the Position Description. The position will soon be advertised.
    2. AHBIC has been asked for assistance from the Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association (AQBBA) in making representations to Australia.
      Post regarding problems with delivery of queen bees. If you have had problems please let our acting CEO know about these so we can put together a case to go to Australia Post. Please do this within the next week.
    3. Elsewhere in the newsletter you will see the opportunity to comment on Australia’s domestic organic regulatory framework. If you are in the organic business please avail yourself of the opportunity to make a submission.
    4. The Congress Sub-committee is finalising the registration form for the 4th Australian Bee Congress to be held in Sydney in June. Make sure you have registered your expression of interest at the website https://australianbeecongress.com.au/ This way you will be advised immediately registrations open. I look forward to seeing you in Sydney.
    5. You will also see in this newsletter references to the NEXDOC upgrade. If you export honey or apicultural products, most likely beeswax, then you need to study and take part in the virtual drop in sessions to learn more. Thank you to those exporters who helped in the sessions with the Department to make sure the changes were practical and able to be carried out by our industry exporters.
    6. With all the rain in south east Queensland and northern New South Wales I hope there have been no hives caught up in the floods. Big lots of rain. At my place we had over 500mms for the period but down the coast I know it was well over the one metre mark.
  • 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.



  • The AHBIC Australian Beekeeper Award

    The program state finalists will participate in a workshop to develop their leadership and story telling skills. Each state finalist will produce a short video on a selected topic that will be judged by a national panel to select the national award recipient.

    To find out more information either click the link below or contact your state association.

    Australian Beekeeper Awards

  • 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.

    AUS-QUAL Pty Ltd
    Phone 07 3361 9200
    Email: bqual@ausqual.com.au

  • Note from Acting Ceo

    To quote one of our former chairs, Peter McDonald

     I thought I had a good understanding of what AHBIC did. I was astounded by the amount of work that is involved”, 2018 chair report.

    I thank Helen for the smooth transition that she facilitated and the amount of work Helen put into ensuring I had all the information to continue ‘business as usual’ for AHBIC.

    Soon we will be able share the many ‘fruits’ of Helen’s labour when the all new website goes live at the end of March, the National Beekeepers award program is launched and the ‘Home sweet Home’ campaign takes off in the coming months.

    The Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association has requested the assistance of AHBIC to help drive a resolution to the multiple issues around the postage of queens. There are many anecdotal accounts of queens going astray but we need detailed cases that can be used to demonstrate the issues to Aust Post. If you have had issues please email AHBIC with details so we can catalogue the issues.

    Notice to Creditors – Riverina Beekeeping Supplies

    Anyone who has been caught up in the unfortunate situation involving Riverina Beekeeping Supplies Pty Ltd and has paid money for goods that have not been delivered are encouraged to contact.

    Matthew Cerato or Toby Daniel on (02) 6938 3800 or admin@chamberlainssbr.com.au

  • Hear from one of our members


    The red gum still shows a good flower pattern, and the WA bees are pleased, as are the beekeepers!

    It has been a short month, where BICWA was busy fine-tuning its membership sign up process and preparing for the first board meeting in 2022 (25th FEB).

    There has not been any further industry engagement concerning the Forest Management Plan (FMP), although BICWA submitted its concern in the Department’s appointment of an independent panel. This panel is established to guide the development of the new FMP and should consist of proven performers in forest restoration, ecology or conservation. We continue lobbying for our industry and the broader communities.

    The Marketing team at UWA, sponsored by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Honey Bee Products, delivers on the 25th FEB an update on the ‘WA honey promotion’ project. This project annalizes honey marketing overseas and provides valuable input for honey packers.

    Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel the conference for the third year in a row. We now hope for the 4th time lucky in 2023.

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


    Brendon Fewster – Chair

  • Professional development opportunities


    Ensure you make the most of these informative extensionaus -professional beekeepers resources.


    The Winston Churchill Trust will fund around 100 people from diverse walks of life so they can explore international best practice and innovation in a field of their choosing. Applications open February 1 2022, for travel overseas in 2023.

    A series of virtual information sessions based around specific themes is being held to inspire project ideas and guide people through the application process. Each session will feature existing Churchill Fellows sharing their experiences, and live Q&As.

    Applications can be made online from 1 February 2022, closing 28 April 2022. Registration for the virtual sessions is essential. To book and for more information visit churchillfellowships.com.au

  • Publications and Resources

    AgriFutures Australia

    AgriFutures Australia provides access to a wide range of publications designed to help inform decisions made by Australian rural industries, and to contribute to policy debate on rural issues of national and international significance. Please click here for recent publications for the honey bee and pollination industry.

    Plan Bee

    Plan Bee is a national genetic improvement program using innovative breeding technologies to transform the performance of honey bees in Australia. Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey http://agrifutures.com.au/partnerships/rural-rd-for-profit-program/plan-bee/


    Farmers, researchers and businesses can now see levy funded research from all the Research and Development Corporations in one location. Please visit growAG.com

  • 2022 AGM and Conference Dates


    New South Wales Apiarists Association 7th June – Rydges Parramatta
    Bee Industry Council of WA TBA (face to face cancelled)
    Queensland Beekeepers Association 23rd-24th June – Warwick RSL
    Victorian Apiarists Association 20th-21st May – Yorke on Lilydale
    South Australian Apiarists Association 31st May – location TBA
    Tasmanian Beekeepers Association 27th-28th – Launceston
    Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association TBA
    Honey Packers and Marketers Association TBA
    National Council of Crop Pollination Associations TBA
    Australian Honey Bee Industry Council 12th June – Nesuto Apartment Hotel – Parramatta



    The following positions are available at this year’s AGM.


    Currently – Trevor Weatherhead (will not be renominating).

    Executive Positions

    – Peter Barnes – eligible to renominate.

    – 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.

  • Government market access advice

    • Market Access Advice (MAA) 2021-25: China: Dairy, Seafood, Honey and Other Edible Non-prescribed Goods: Advice to food processing and storage facilities on accessing China issued registration number has now been published.

    The MAA is accessible online here: 2021 Market access advice notices – DAWE Please direct any queries to exportlisting@agriculture.gov.au

    • Market Access Advice 2021-24: Saudi Arabia: Honey: Update on listing requirement for honey processors wishing to export honey and honey products to Saudi Arabia: https://www.awe.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/export/controlled-goods/non-prescribed-goods/market-access-advice-notices/2021-24
  • Have your say on domestic organics regulation

    First Assistant Secretary of Agricultural Policy at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Joanna Stanion, invited all stakeholders, including farmers, transporters, exporters, retailers, consumers and industry bodies to have their say on a new organics regulation impact statement.

    “The department is seeking stakeholder views on regulatory and non-regulatory options to improve Australia’s domestic organic regulatory framework,” Ms Stanion said.

    “This is a growing part of the agriculture sector and we are keen to seek a wide range of views.

    “The department’s consultations to date have included an online business survey with over 100 responses, a targeted phone survey of producers and processors with over 500 respondents, an online consumer survey with over 1,000 responses, and a range of industry roundtables and one-on-one meetings.”

    The public consultation is now open and will close in four weeks on Thursday 17 March at 5pm.

    Find out more at: https://haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/organics

    Fast Facts:
    • The global organic food & beverages market was estimated at USD 220 billion in 2019 (Globenewswire 2021) with over 71.5 million hectares of farmland certified organic globally (IFOAM – Organics International, 2020).
    • Australia has the largest organic agricultural area in the world (35.7 million hectares).
    • According to IBIS World, Australia’s organic industry revenue is forecast to increase at an annualised 14.6 per cent over the five years through 2025-26, to $3.9 billion.
    • With agriculture making up a substantial proportion of all organic output, this initiative is linked to the government’s commitment to help the agriculture industry reach its goal of $100 billion in production by 2030 (Ag2030).
  • Feedback on National Biosecurity Strategy

    The years ahead will bring more risks to our food and fibre industries and precious environment and places, in the form of pests and diseases. Working together now ensures we’ll be ready.

    The draft just released captures the views heard to date about how Australia’s biosecurity system needs to evolve. It outlines priorities and actions we can take, and includes questions to guide your comments, which will inform next steps.

    Your feedback will help shape the final version that will be presented to Australian ministers responsible for biosecurity later this year.

    Everyone who enjoys Australia’s food, fibre and environment benefits from our biosecurity system. This strategy is for all Australians, so all views are invited.

    Read the draft and give your feedback by 18 March 2022.

    Find out more at www.haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/national-biosecurity-strategy

  • Export documentation online

    This system will eventually replace the manual submissions of forms and speed up the process of getting export documentation from the Department. Initially NEXDOC will roll out for exports to Malaysia and will include honey and honey bee products (excluding live bees).

    See below for more information, I encourage anyone who exports honey to attend an information session.

    Export certification for honey and apiculture products to Malaysia

    Export certificate applications will move to the new NEXDOC system from 28 March.

    If you are exporting honey or apiculture products, such as bee wax, to Malaysia your export certification is moving to the NEXDOC system.

    Benefits of:

    • Replaces manual applications and certificates with a faster on line system
    • Print certificates in your own office
    • You can track the status of your application
    • OR code security on certificates
    • Electronic certificates have lower documentation charges.

    Next steps:

    Join us for an online information session to find out more. A link to join the sessions will be available on the NEXDOC webpage prior to the sessions.

    Online Session times

    Wednesday 12 March – 10:00am-12:00pm
    Friday 11 March – 1:00pm-3:00pm
    Tuesday 15 March – 10:00am-12:00pm
    Thursday 24 March – 1:00pm-3:00pm
    Tuesday 29 March – 2:00pm-4:00pm
    Thursday 7 April – 10:00am-12:00pm

    Further information

    Email: nexdoc@awe.gov.au
    Visit: www.awe.gove.au/biosecurity-trade/export/certification/nexdoc

  • Shining the spotlight on Australia’s beekeepers

    The Award program aims to recognise a person who has demonstrated they have made a positive difference to the Australian honey bee industry and is open to all registered Australian beekeepers over 18 years of age.

    AHBIC Chair, Trevor Weatherhead, said the program would showcase the people working across honey production and pollination services who collectively generate $14.2 billion for the national economy each year.

    “Our beekeepers underpin Australian agriculture by managing the honey bees that pollinate crops including almonds, apples, avocadoes, blueberries, cucumbers, pumpkins, and rockmelons,” Mr Weatherhead said.

    “We are looking for registered beekeepers who have a clear and compelling vision for the honey bee industry’s future growth and the potential to develop as an effective and respected industry leader.”

    At a time when industry wants to better connect with consumers to help them understand the significance of honey bees, Mr Weatherhead said advocacy efforts will be a key determination in the judging criteria.

    “Raising awareness of the importance of honey bees in pollination services and global food security is critical to supporting our industry’s future, and we will be looking for individuals who can demonstrate positive leadership in this space,” he said.

    AHBIC will work closely with its six state beekeeping association members to facilitate the application and judging process, with each association nominating one finalist to participate in a two-day professional development workshop. The successful Australian Beekeeper Award winner will then be announced at the 4th Australian Bee Congress in Sydney, in June.

    “It will be wonderful to shine the spotlight on the beekeepers who, like many other farmers, work in challenging conditions to provide Australians, and the world, with delicious honey, as well as critical pollination services for other agriculture and horticulture industries,” Mr Weatherhead said.

    To apply for the Awards, beekeepers can either apply directly to their state body, or they can be nominated. More information about the application process is available on the AHBIC website – www.honeybee.org.au  Applications close on 31 March 2022.