Macadamia growers and beekeepers have the latest information with the first edition of the Best practice bee management in macadamia, published by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
NSW DPI Macadamia Development Officer, Jeremy Bright said it’s critical for growers to have bees and other insect pollinators in the orchard at flowering to give the crop the best chance of success.
“Improving pollination will improve nut set and result in higher crop yields, providing increased production and profitability for macadamia growers,” Mr Bright said.
“The new guide provides information that will assist macadamia growers and beekeepers to ensure best practice management, covering topics on communications, hive placement, bee care and spray management.
“Communication between the beekeeper, grower, spray operator and neighbours are vital, especially as honey bees can easily fly two kilometres from their hive to forage on flowers.
“It is important all parties involved to understand the position of the other stakeholders and work together to create the best possible outcome.”
Growers are encouraged to use the BeeConnected app to enable proactive discussion relating to orchard activities, bee hive placements and to maintain hive health.
When engaging a commercial pollination service, growers and beekeepers can agree on responsibilities in the following areas:
- Date and location for hive placement
- The number of frames and health of hives
- Accessibility of colonies for beekeepers
- Pesticide applications
- Date of hive removal from the orchard
Mr Bright said to maximise pollination and to protect bees from the effects of pesticides growers should ensure clean water is always available.
“Water supplies will need to be cleaned and refreshed regularly,” Mr Bright said.
“Macadamia growers are reminded to always warn nearby beekeepers if you intend to spray and provide two days’ notice, as a matter of courtesy, for them to be able to take all necessary steps to protect the bees.
“It’s really about good communication between stakeholders to ensure best results”
The Primefact Best practice bee management in macadamia is available to download on the NSW DPI website.