An upcoming survey of the Australian honey bee industry will collect baseline data that will provide information on the current economic situation of Australian beekeepers.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) survey would provide a thorough picture of changes to the national industry along with an up-to-date profile of the physical and financial characteristics of honey bee businesses.
“In addition to data on the demographic and socioeconomic circumstances of people in the industry, the survey will capture the adoption of research and development initiatives, the state of honey bee health and the size of the commercial pollination services sector,” Minister Joyce said.
Minister Joyce said the value of Australia’s bee industry extended far beyond the quality products produced to the valuable pollination services of honey bees.
“More than 12,000 registered beekeepers are tending to more than 520,000 hives across the country that produce about $90 million worth of honey and beeswax each year,” Minister Joyce said.
“Bees are important not just because of the honey they produce. About 65 per cent of Australian agricultural crops respond to honey bee pollination. Among others, Australia’s $346 million almond crop depends entirely on bees for pollination.