The Australian Government has announced a $600,000 grant for honey bee bushfire recovery research and development.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the grant would help the Australian honey bee industry to build resilience and bounce back.
“This funding is great news for our beekeepers and will help them get their buzz back and build resilience for future disasters,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The grant will help the Australian honey bee industry undertake key research about how to help rebuild hives after bushfires.
“The research will help beekeepers understand how decreased forest resources after fires affects honey bee biosecurity and nutrition.
“It will also investigate best practice supplementary feeding and hive management technology.”
AgriFutures Australia will manage the research as the rural research and development corporation for the honeybee and pollination industry.
Bushfire recovery research and development is part of the industry’s Bushfire Recovery Plan, which was released by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council in August 2020.
- The 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires destroyed an estimated 15.6 million hectares of native Australian forest, severely compromising the viability of the honey bee industry and the plant industries that rely on critical pollination services.
- The honey bee and pollination industry Bushfire Recovery Plan and six point action plan identify short-term support measures and longer-term industry change initiatives to ensure its ongoing viability.
This grant complements previous support of $270,000 provided to the bee industry to support the National Bee Pest Surveillance program and the National Bee Biosecurity program.
- The industry levy contributing to these programs was significantly reduced due to declining honey bee production as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires.
- The AgriFutures Honeybee & Pollination Program supports R&D to ensure a productive, sustainable and more profitable Australian beekeeping industry and secure the pollination of Australia’s horticultural and agricultural crops.