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MPs to hear of sticky time for apiarists

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The House of Representatives is to convene a meeting in Wangaratta, Victoria, next week where it will hear from apiarists and others connected to the industry.

“The honey bee industry in Victoria is facing a crisis. Loss of access to floral resources on public land has been compounded by the damage done by last summer’s wildfires,” committee chairman Alby Schultz said in a statement.

“Many apiary sites have been lost, and some of our best honey producing forests and woodlands will take years to recover.

“This has occurred at a time when the industry needs to expand to meet the pollination requirements of agriculture worth billions of dollars.”

Witnesses expected to give evidence include representatives of the Victorian Apiarists’ Association, the Victorian Farmers Federation, the Central Victorian Apiarists’ Association, and founder and director of Beechworth Honey Jodie Goldsworthy.

Mr Schultz said the honey bee industry needed access to native vegetation for honey production and conditioning hives before and after pollination.

“The industry cannot survive without it. Governments, industry and land managers must work together to ensure access to floral resources for the sake of honey producers and pollination dependent industries.”

He said better land and fire management was essential to the honey bee industry and agriculture in general.

“Land managers must take the needs of bees into account when clearing, burning and replanting land,” Mr Schultz said.

Reprinted from the The West Australian – 16 July 07

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Written by Greg Naylor

18 July 2007 at 9:47 pm

Posted in media release

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