Beekeepers across Australia will soon be familiar with all the main pest threats to honey bees in Australia with the release of the 60-page Biosecurity Manual for the Honey Bee Industry by Plant Health Australia (PHA). The manual is an initiative of industry and government partners, to protect the honey bee industry and crop industries reliant on pollination services.The manual, which provides advice on best practice biosecurity in beekeeping, is designed for everyone who keeps honey bees in Australia. According to Greg Fraser, Executive Director and CEO of PHA, every beekeeper, from commercial enterprises to hobbyists with a hive in the backyard, has a role to play in protecting honey bees from established and exotic pests and diseases."There are many diseases that exist in Australia already that beekeepers need to keep an eye out for in their hives. Worse though, there are pests overseas like Varroa mite that could decimate the industry in Australia. The manual shows what these look like in a hive and how to check for them so that if these exotic pests do make it through border controls we can pick it up quickly and, hopefully, stop it from spreading further. But we need all beekeepers to be on the lookout."PHA brought together experts from the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC), relevant state/territory departments, Australian Government agencies, beekeepers and honey bee scientists to devise the set of biosecurity and best management practices that beekeepers should incorporate into their day-to-day operations.The manual also contains:
Simple guidelines on how to keep honey bees healthy.Fact sheets on 13 exotic and established pests with detailed pictures.Detailed information on how to conduct surveillance in an apiary for these pests.Guidelines on moving hives, honey bee products and equipment.Product management principles.Templates of production records and biosecurity signs, which are also available for free download from the PHA website.
All state and territory government departments of agriculture will be mailing a copy of the manual out to every registered beekeeper in Australia in the coming months. The development of the manual was funded by the Pollination Program, through Horticulture Australia, The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and AHBIC.The Federal Council of Australian Apiarists’ Association and the Wheen Bee Foundation funded the printing and postage of the Manual to 12,000 beekeepers. PHA would like to acknowledge the generous contributions of all parties on behalf of the Australian honey bee industry.The Biosecurity Manual for Beekeepers can be >>downloaded for free>>Who is Plant Health Australia?Plant Health Australia (PHA) is the national coordinator of the government-industry partnership for plant biosecurity in Australia. As a not-for-profit company, PHA services the needs of Members and independently advocates on behalf of the national plant biosecurity system. PHA’s efforts help minimise plant pest impacts, enhance Australia’s plant health status, assist trade, safeguard the livelihood of producers, support the sustainability and profitability of plant industries and the communities that rely upon them, and preserve environmental health and amenity. To learn more about PHA, visit http://www.planthealthaustralia.com.auSam Malfroy – Project OfficerPlant Health Australia