The Nationals in the federal government have announced a $600,000 grant for honey bee bushfire recovery research and development.
Nationals Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the grant would help the Australian honey bee industry 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,” Mr 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.
It is estimated the NSW beekeeping industry contributes around $36 million annually to the state’s economy through the production of honey, bees wax and other hive products.
Pollination services provided by honey bees are estimated to be worth up to $6 billion nationally.
There are currently around 6,800 registered beekeepers in NSW, which represents about 45 per cent of Australia’s beekeeping industry.
The industry is recovering in the wake of the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires which destroyed an estimated 15.6 million hectares of native Australian forest, severely damaging the viability of the honey bee and plant industries that rely on critical pollination services.