Beekeepers share buzz about native forest access

There was hive of activity in Colquhoun Forest, near Nowa Nowa, when East Gippsland Councillors joined the Victorian Apiarists’ Association and Gippsland Apiarist Association on a field tour of important beekeeping sites to discuss honey production, pollination and forest management.

Bees are a vital part of food production and biosecurity in Australia, contributing about $14 billion to the nation’s economy annually and $6 billion for Victoria (2010).

The apiarists expressed a keen awareness of the debate regarding the timber industry and public land management and shared their insights and knowledge of different types of forests and their functions.

Mayor Cr Mark Reeves noted that the beekeeping industry is dependent on public land estate floral resources for honey production and beehive health.

“Honey bee pollination-dependent food crops rely on healthy bees, and apiarists know that the flora that grows on public land is key to their well-being. This field trip was a good chance to hear beekeepers’ thoughts on managing public land assets for all uses and values,” Cr Reeves said.

Discussion also included timber-harvesting prescriptions; forest structure; ecosystem functionality; the importance of public land for food security; wildfire impact to forests and communities; reproductive capacity and cycles of eucalyptus trees; and building resilience into public land forest ecosystems to mitigate against climate change.

Image: Members of the Victorian Apiarists’ Association from Glenrowan, Shepparton, Yarram with Councillors and senior management tour beekeeping sites in Colquhoun Forest near Nowa Nowa.

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