Honey Bee Hive Sites

The Australian honey bee industry relies on access to flora growing on public and private lands. Beekeepers hold a mixture of apiary sites and move hives based on nectar flow and availability. To date, there has been no concerted effort to capture the institutional knowledge of beekeepers and agencies concerning the foraging grounds, quality of nectar flows and resulting yield, and site migration patterns. The hive site program will provide more quality hive sites, protect existing sites and inform bee hive movement. Australian Manuka honey will be developed and protected.

The CRC is recruiting post graduates to work within four key programs.  If you are a PhD student and wish to learn more about Bee Hive Site project work click here.

  • Present bee hive site movement and productivity information, complemented by the identification of bee flora (citizen science), is mapped
  • Social, political and ecological barriers to current, and future, hive sites accessibility are identified (license to operate)
  • Perceived ecological barriers to hives sites are tested and quantified
  • Bee hive migration models, incorporating current and future barriers to hive site accessibility are developed and tested as a decision support tool for beekeepers
  • Institutional knowledge of bee hive site historic value is collated and assessed
  • Seasonal flora map with honey bee product quality from biogeographical regions is collated to inform the development of the bee hive site
  • Valuation model is updated with new information and validated
  • Regional year round bee hive site establishment models using flora mapping data and valuation are developed
  • Year-round hive sites are demonstrated and validated through honey bee product measurement and assessment
  • High value honey bee hive sites (Leptospermum) are demonstrated and validated through honey bee product measurement and assessment
  • Genetic diversity of the Leptospermum genus is mapped with detailed commercial species genomic maps developed for breeding program structure and to support PBR
  • Environmental triggers for floral onset identified, controlled interspecific crossing undertaken and accelerated breeding systems trialled for elite Leptospermum production
  • Nectar flow from Leptospermum species, as impacted by biological determinants and environmental conditions, is qualified
  • New Leptospermum selections are tested for land rehabilitation, flowering and bee-attraction performance


Objective: Design and develop a Spatiotemporal Geographic Information System database to house and link spatial information gathered across the CRCHBP projects and related sites; and developed an enhanced bee related floristic vegetation map fo the SW of WA

Project Leader:  Dr Bryan Boruff

Research Assistant: Giles Knight (Geospatial Analyst)

Post Doctorates:  Manita Ainsworth, Alex Chapman


Project Leader: Dr Bryan Boruff

PhD Student: PhD Vidushi Patel

Objective: Understand bee hive migration decisions to predict the impact of climate-change and policy on the future of the honey bee product industry


Project Leader: Dr Clare Mouat

Supervisors:  Dr Bryan Boruff

PhD Student: PhD Linda Wilson

Objective: To inncrease understanding of competing interests in management honey bee hive sites in WA and address possible solutions

Project Leader: Dr Ben White

Post Doctorate: Dr Cheryl Day

Objective: The objective of this research support will be to determine the value of bee reserves based on the charecteristics of the reserve


Project Leader: Dr Michael Renton

PhD Student: PhD Joanne Picknoll

Objective: To develop new methods for designing year-round bee hive sites for high-value honey production, accounting for bee movement


Djilarup Manuka

Boathaugh Estates

Project Leader: Dr Matthias Leopold

PhD Student: Hira Shaukat

Objective: The project aims to investigate the performance of WA native Leptospermum plant material in different soil types and environments (Project IP) to optimise survival growth which leads to flowering and nectar production for high-value honey production.

Project Leader: Dr Katja Hogendoorn

Objective: Identify a planting strategy to enable valuable monofloral bioactive Leptospermum honey production while minimizing the impact of hive health.


Objective: Provide information to guide and produce Leptospermum selections and the breading program and minimise environmental risks.

Project Leader: Dr Margaret Byrne

Post Doctorate: Dr Rachel Binks

Djilarup Manuka

Objective: Develop a bioacive Leptospermum breeding program for South Australia

Project Leader: Dr Kate Delaporte

Phd student: PhD Tate Hancox


Objective:  Identify and quantify honey bee flora activity for nectar and pollen.

Project Leader: Dr James Hehre

Researcher: Jake Manger


Project leader: Dr Nik Callow

PhD student: PhD Daniel Dixon

Objective: This project will attempt to identify the relationship between vegetation phenology and environmental conditions, with spectral response and nectar flow to aid in the understanding of factors that impact bee flora flowing events and nectar.


Researcher: Richard Mazenec

Objective: This project aims to investigate the performance of Leptospermum Scoparium plant material in different soil types, environments and planting configurations (Project IP) to optimise nectar production for high-value honey production.

Project Leader: Prof René Vaillancourt

PhD Student: PhD Chris Wellington

Objective: A working pilot of a stationary, medical-grade honey bee farm, using primarily Tasmanian Leptospermum species.


Project Leader: A/Prof Bryan Boruff

Objective: The NLE has approached the CRCHBP to provide an annual map for apiary site movement sequence based on flowering and nectar production between their farms and an understanding of the quality of the honey produced with each season.