Industry Challenges addressed
- Low-value honey bee products
- Nomad beekeeping culture
- Need more managed beehives and beekeepers
- Losing apiary sites
- Low biosecurity
- Lack of entry opportunities
The CRC for Honey Bee Products worked towards value-adding, de-risking, re-tooling; training SMEs; re-stocking to make beekeeping an attractive business.
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.
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.
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.
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.