The CRC for Honey Bee Products is trans-disciplinary across four programs, driving innovation within the industry to meet export demands
The hive site program will help protect existing sites, inform bee hive movement and rehabilitate land into new high-value hive sites. Australian Manuka honey will be a new product.
Chain of Custody
This program will use all the information from the CRC to develop a Chain of Custody. This will be linked to developing and testing product quality labels in the export market.
Five Year Plan
The CRC has a five year plan to make beekeeping an attractive business by adding value to the honey bee product, reducing the risks, re-tooling the industry and training the next generation of bee keepers
There are a number of key barriers and challenges in the industry as it currently operates, which keep hobbyist and amateur beekeepers from becoming professional. The CRC will deliver resources to develop and grow the industry in Australia.
Low prices of honey bee products originating from Australia do not reflect their true value as unique and pure. Endemic flora, together with regulated isolation, has created the opportunity to produce rare honey bee products, and develop a niche market.
Product Monitoring & Testing
Approved tests by which the quality of honey bee products is measured for international appreciation are unavailable to beekeepers and packers across Australia. These chemical tests need to be supported with clinical peer reviewed health claims so that exporters have confidence in their marketing. Tracking honey bee products from bush to shelf will be the basis of the high value chain.
Hive Site Management
Native bush bee hive sites are critical for the health of bees, and we are losing them for various reasons. Climate change, especially the extremes we are now experiencing more frequently, bring fire and flood. Land use and policy changes block beekeepers from many of their sites. We have to find a way to protect and create new hive sites to keep our bees healthy.
Chasing the next flowering event to keep the bee hives alive and healthy, and maintaining a honey bee product output is an art at present. Predicting a flowering event bees can feed from would not only save traveling time but ensure the best Australian flora is captured.
Diseases & Dianosis
Quick and accurate recognition of bee diseases is needed with inexperienced beekeepers entering the industry and new diseases arriving in Australia. A rapid diagnosis and response to these diseases is needed to keep Australia as a haven for healthy bees for the rest of the world.
Career Training & Resources
Lack of an entry pathway to beekeeping to create a new generation of beekeepers has been identified as the limiting factor. This Cooperative Research Centre will provide opportunity, training and new start-ups.