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News from the Chair

1 January 2022

Up-to-date information from the AHBIC Chairman

  1. As you read this newsletter it will be Helen’s last day as our CEO. Helen’s resignation has come as a surprise to the Executive but a previous employer has made Helen an offer she could not refuse. So Helen has decided to move on to her next challenge. Helen has been with us for nearly two (2) years now and has made a valuable contribution to our industry. Your executive has now put in place plans to keep AHBIC operating in “business as usual” mode until we are able to recruit a replacement. Personally I would like to thank Helen for all she has done during her time as CEO. It has been a pleasure to work with her and I, on behalf of our industry, wish her the best for the future.
  2. As a result Helen’s resignation, your Executive have been meeting to look at a replacement. A first step has been to employ a consultant to review how we are performing against our Strategic Plan, look at the Position Description and give us some recommendations for going forward. That will be available in mid-February.
    In the meantime the Executive have appointed Danny le Feuvre, one of our Executive, to be the acting CEO. Contact details remain the same.
  3. It is not often that I put birthday greetings in my report but I could not let this one go by. Norm Rice turned 100 on 1 January 2022. Unfortunately the home where Norm lives was in lockdown due to Covid-19 infections at the home, he could not get to celebrate this milestone in an appropriate fashion. Many may not know Norm but our industry is indebted to Norm for his work within our industry. Just a few of his achievements were that he commercialised the use of Instrumental Insemination for queen bee breeding. He pioneered the sending of package bees overseas. He was the Queensland Producer representative and Deputy Chair of the Australian Honey Board when it started in 1963. Norm was responsible for appointing the selling agents in the UK. There were also many things that Norm achieved for the Queensland Beekeepers Association during his time as President. Happy birthday Norm and may there be many more.
  4. I have been reporting on the cases of imported beeswax that AHBIC has had analysed and have been found to be adulterated and/or contain residues of chemicals not used in Australia. AHBIC has been on to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for many months now wanting to have something done to stop these imports or at the worst have the beeswax analysed. AHBIC has heard back from the ACCC and whilst they have not agreed to our requests they have followed up a company selling imported beeswax in Australia. Their answer was the company has corrected the potentially misleading claims and will be “Removing all references to ‘pure natural beeswax material’ on the product listings; Removing the Australian flag imagery from these listings; and including details of the manufacturing country (China) on these listings.”
    I can only plead with beekeepers in Australia that if you are buying imported beeswax get some analysed to make sure it is pure. Our analysis has shown the imported products we have had analysed not to be pure beeswax. You do not want to be responsible for contaminating our Australian beeswax with paraffin and chemical residues. The best way is to support Australian beekeepers and keep our Australian beeswax clean is to buy Australian beeswax.
  5. Between me writing the article on the “Consultation on Organics” and you receiving the article it would seem that DAWE have now extended the closing date till 8 February 2022. So this gives you added time to get the survey done.