Increased funding for bushfire recovery in beekeeping – News from the region

Mr. Laybutt’s bees are used for both honey production and pollination services.

The STATE government’s financial support to the beekeeping industry means that recovery from the bushfires of 2019 and 2020 can take place as soon as possible.

According to data from the State Government of New South Wales, the 2019-2020 bushfire season destroyed more than 9,800 beehives, and another 88,000 suffered damage from heat and smoke.

The governments of New South Wales and Australia to provide funding of $ 1.9 million for apiary projects, including an audit of NSW government-owned land for suitable beekeeping sites , the creation of pollinator-friendly plants in rural New South Wales, the development of beekeepers by subsidizing biosecurity and queen rearing courses, the creation of a Honey Library by profiling the unique chemistry of New South Wales honey and researching new honey markets and improving forest and bee health for high value medicinal honey.

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said identifying public land that could be used for beehives would help increase honey production.

“We will also lead the development of a ‘honey library’ to help identify the unique profile of NSW honey to ensure provenance and protect the state’s reputation for high quality industry,” said Mr. Marshall.

Local beekeeper Ben Laybutt has beehives from Glenreagh to Macksville and said all of the projects were beneficial.

“We have tried to gain access to government owned land, so the inquiry into better access to public land is a good thing because beekeepers are clamoring for it.

“Traditionally, state forests are favorable, but other government agencies have not been,” he said.

“For example, on the coast there is a lot of paper bark that blooms during the winter, but most of the land they are on is controlled by the RMS, coastal reserves and national parks and you don’t can’t get into that. “

Mr. Laybutt and his family have six hundred production beehives and are currently on ten blueberry farms and occupy another forest site.

“Beekeepers need a lot of different sites and they have to be used when the flowers are blooming,” he said.

“Some of the forest sites I pay rent on, I couldn’t use because of the fires. “

By Sandra MOON

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