24 March 2015
Kangaroo Island honey producers have worked hard to achieve world-wide recognition for the high quality of their products. However, their achievements are endangered by actions by some of the island’s beekeepers.
Recent checks of several bee keeper operations on Kangaroo Island by PIRSA’s Biosecurity SA Senior Apiary Inspector Michael Stedman, revealed some concerning behaviours. Several beekeepers were found to have exposed bee products and hive equipment which can attract robber bees.
‘Robber bees can be particularly aggressive and are more common when there is limited natural nectar flow. The requirement to prevent bee access is in place to reduce the risk of the spread of bee diseases between colonies’ said Mr Stedman.
‘All bee keepers whether they have one hive or 1000, need to be registered. This allows us to undertake monitoring activities, checking for bee disease and to respond quickly in the event of a disease outbreak’ he said.
It is essential that people comply with the regulations in place to protect bees from disease and pest spread as failure to do so threaten our important honey production industry. Kangaroo Island is a bee sanctuary and biosecurity requirements are in place prohibiting the movement of bees, used bee equipment and honey onto the island. KI is free from several diseases that are found on the mainland.
While on the island Mr Stedman provided training to local PIRSA Animal Health Officer Jessie Thomson and Natural Resources Kangaroo Island Biosecurity Liaison Officer Andrew Triggs.