|July 2008 Newsletter|
Voluntary Contributors to AHBIC
AHBIC acknowledges the beekeeper suppliers who contribute via their packer and queen bee supplier to AHBIC. We also urge beekeepers to support those packers/queen bee breeders who contribute to AHBIC.
Does your honey buyer’s or queen bee supplier’s name appear on this list?
If not, then ask ‘why not?’
SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT YOUR INDUSTRY!
AHBIC AGM Resolutions
The annual general meeting of the Council was held in Melbourne on 14th and 15th July 2008.
The Executive Committee of AHBIC for the coming year consists of:-
Also, please note the dates for the various conferences for the 2009 year for forward note in your diary:-
2009 Conference Dates
Invading bee threatens Australian environment: scientist
Posted 3 July 2008 15:38:00
The rogue bee species is native to areas around the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
If it gets a foothold in Australia it could threaten local bees and cause problems for the honey industry, which is estimated to be worth about $80 million a year. It could also put at risk the pollination which contributes to billions of dollars of farm output.
Editors Note: We will be continuing to follow-up on this issue.
AUSTRALIAN QUEEN BEE BREEDING GROUP
The Australian Queen Bee Breeding Group (AQBBG) held its AGM on Sunday 13 July, 2008. The office bearers for the coming year are Bruce White – President, Trevor Weatherhead –
Secretary, Bill Weiss and Laurie Dewar – Executive, Dr. Ben Oldroyd and Peter Oxley – Advisors.
Many matters were discussed. Renewal of membership will be sent out to members shortly and there will be a concerted effort to gain new members. So if you are interested in being a member of the AQBBG please contact Trevor Weatherhead on 07 5467 2135.
To fully reflect the nature of what the AQBBG is doing, it has been decided that it will be called the Australian Queen Bee Breeding Program run by the Australian Queen Bee Breeding Group.
With the advent of the new AHBIC website www.honeybee.org.au , you will see that there is a section there for the AQBBG. Have a look at what is there now and regularly check back as we will be updating it from time to time.
Stock is currently being evaluated in Queensland and New South Wales and will be made available for purchase later this year. Production records and purchase details will appear on the AHBIC website in the AQBBG section plus in industry journals.
RIRDC REPORT TO THE
Prepared by Margie Thomson, Research Manager, RIRDC Honeybee R&D Program
R&D ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The RIRDC Honeybee Research and Development (R&D) Advisory Committee will have completed two years of its three year term in June 2008 and comprises Mr Trevor Monson, Dr Denis Anderson, Mr Bruce White and the Research Manager to the Program, Margie Thomson.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). This project grant been used to develop an alliance between beekeepers and pollination dependent industries to address key risk management (including biosecurity and, R&D and education and training).
After consultation with AHBIC, Mr Des Cannon has been reappointed by the RIRDC Board for three years commencing July 2008. The program remains in ‘good hands’ with the expertise Mr Des Cannon and the Committee are able to bring to the Program.
A key highlight of the year was overseeing the Pollination Australia project within RIRDC that was coordinated by a Steering Committee comprising Des Cannon (Chair), Stephen Fewster, Lindsay Bourke and Stephen Ware, AHBIC; Julie Haslett, Almond Board of Australia; Kim James and Warwick Scherf, Horticulture Australia (HAL) Max Whitten, DAFF and Margie Thomson, RIRDC..
Following the Honeybee Industry Linkages Workshop in April 2007, RIRDC secured the $300,000 grant on behalf of the aligned industries to address future honeybee pollination R&D capability and funding, a comprehensive risk management strategy and education and training requirements to support honeybee and pollination services.
The Steering Committee has overseen four workshops that have led to the formation of the ‘Pollination Australia Alliance’ to develop future key policy directions for the beekeeping and plant based industries that are conservatively estimated to have a GVP of $4-6 billion. A Business Plan has been finalised to allow the Alliance evaluate opportunities and threats to the pollination industry and set initial directions to develop paid pollination services as a self sustaining industry.
An interim R&D Advisory Panel is also being formed to oversee a number of R&D projects, having secured $0.42 million in funding from HAL (Almonds, AusVeg, Apple and Pear, Cherries, Avocados, Canned Fruit, Melons, Summer Fruit, Dried Prunes, Onions, Pasture Seeds, Honeybees and RIRDC). RIRDC has been requested to oversee the research management of the Project.
The RIRDC Board has provided $50,000 to develop a Five Year Pollination R&D and Communication Plan in 2008-09 to secure a long term investment for pollination based issues. The relationship between the Pollination Australia Industry Alliance and the proposed Pollination R&D Program to be managed by RIRDC is depicted in Figure 1.
RIRDC played a key role at APIMONDIA in September 2007 and showcased its Australian Honeybee R&D reports at APIEXPO. The stall was manned by RIRDC and its Advisory Committee. It was pleasing to see the number of attendees at the R&D seminars, especially the Australian researchers that are funded by the RIRDC Honeybee R&D Program.
A new RIRDC Honeybee Research Compendium that provides an ‘easy to read’ summary of the latest R&D research was launched at APIMONDIA by Dr Max Whitten at the opening ceremony.
All attendees at APIMONDIA also received a complimentary copy of one the latest RIRDC publications ‘Commercial Beekeeping in Australia (Second Edition – April 2007) by Fred Benecke, valued at $21 a copy.
RIRDC SUBMISSION TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INQUIRY INTO THE HONEYBEE INDUSTRY
RIRDC’s submission to the Inquiry has been widely quoted by Government, industry and media and has led to continued interest by the Parliamentary Inquiry. The RIRDC Managing Director and part of the Honeybee R&D Advisory Committee presented the key issues of the RIRDC submission to the Inquiry in August 2007.
The key results of the Pollination Australia Workshop were presented to the Inquiry Chair, the Honourable Dick Adams MP on 18 May 2008 and the Pollination Australia Steering Committee was asked to meet with the Inquiry Committee at Parliament House following the March Pollination Australia Workshop.
FIVE YEAR R&D PLAN
The Honeybee Five Year R&D Plan is now in its second year of implementation. The Plan covers the 2007-12 financial years (copies can be downloaded from the RIRDC website at www.rirdc.gov.au
The Five Year Plan was developed following extensive consultation with apiarists, packers/marketers, resource managers, researchers and regulatory and extension communities during the period June to August 2006. Stakeholders overwhelming commented on the high level of satisfaction with RIRDC’s management of Honeybee and Queen Bee R&D and support for Australian Government matching funds.
The key goal of the Plan is to improve the productivity, sustainability and profitability of the Australian beekeeping industry through the organisation, funding and management of a research, development and extension Program that is both stakeholder and market focussed.
The Plan identifies key objectives for the R&D investments to be made on behalf of the industry and government. These are grouped under six key headings:
The budget allocations of the Five Year Plan objectives are depicted in the following pie chart:
The Committee will have presented an Annual Update to all the State Conferences and also attended ‘Industry Crisis Meeting’ held prior to the NSW Annual Meeting held in Port Stephens in May 2008.
CURRENT R&D PROGRAM FUNDING
Honeybee industry R&D is facilitated through RIRDC with apiarists and queen bee producers paying a levy for research, which is matched on a dollar for dollar basis by the Australian Government up to 0.5% of the industry’s gross value of production. The levy has historically raised around $350,000-$400,000 per annum and funds approximately 12 projects per year. Around $10,000 per annum is also provided via queen bee producers via a statutory levy.
The industry has voted to support an increase in the levy over the life of the new Five Year R&D Plan. From 1 July 2006 the levy was increased from 0.8 cents per kilogram of honey to 1.2 cents per kilogram and again to 1.5 cents per kilogram from 1 July 2009. The levy will increase R&D funds available to the industry by up to a further $100-200,000 per annum when government matching is added to the additional levy.
Reserves have been set by the R&D Advisory Committee at approximately half of the research budget to cover fluctuations in income that may result from changes in productions volumes. It is proposed that forecasted closing reserves be set at approximately $x and the total R&D expenditure budget at $x in 2007-08.
There are currently 18 projects that are currently being funded in 2007-08 of which 11 were new. 14 final reports were received.
R&D provider choice is limited within the program due to the small number of dedicated honeybee researchers available. This issue is being partly addressed through the provision of postgraduate financial support.
RESEARCH PROJECTS FINALISED IN 2007-08:
- Research and Development (funded by RIRDC)
PROJECTS TO CONTINUE IN 2008-09:
NEW PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED IN 2008-09
Possible Pollination R&D Projects
ABARE INDUSTRY SURVEY
The results of the ABARE Industry Survey are to be presented to AHBIC at its annual conference in July. The survey will allow the industry to have the latest estimates of the cost of production, income and the gross value of production and will provide industry benchmarks for the industry to compare against.
A workshop will be held on 24 and 25 July 2008 in Canberra to allow researchers to present the results of their current and finalised research and to discuss and scope future R&D ideas for the RIRDC Honeybee R&D Program. A special session on Pollination will also be convened.
RIRDC Management is currently preparing advice to the RIRDC Board on the possibility of applying to the Federal Government to allow a marketing levy to be administered by RIRDC.
Mr Des Cannon Ms Margie Thomson
Report Submitted to AHBIC on 12 June 2008
MORE THAN HONEY –TASMANIA LAUNCH
Dick Adams, Federal Member for Lyons, was today very pleased to launch the Primary Industries and Resources Committee report, “More than Honey”, to David Llewellyn, Minister for Primary Industries and Resources and members of the beekeeping, forestry and agriculture community in Tasmania.
“I am asking the State Minister to work with me to help implement the recommendations in the report.”
Dick Adams said that the report contained 25 recommendations, including:
“We rely on the honey bee industry, not only in Tasmania’s world famous honey, but also to pollinate many food crops.
“Without honey bees, many of Australia’s agricultural industries would not be viable, and the Nation’s food security would be at risk.
“In Tasmania, agriculture, Government and forestry work together to secure resources for the honey bee industry. Tasmania can be a leader in the honey bee industry”, Dick Adams said.
Mr Adams emphasized that there was a clear need to invest in biosecurity measures, especially the National Sentinel Hive Program, and research and development for the industry. Saying that only through such investment would the honey bee industry and pollination dependent agricultural industries remain strong and viable into the future.
“The Varroa destructor mite poses a real threat to the future of the honey bee industry.
“Tasmania is ideally placed to take advantage of the cooperation between various sectors to ensure that the honey bee industry grows and prospers”, Dick Adams said.
View photo of launch (coming soon): www.honeybee.org.au