Friday, April 18, 2014
No Bees = NO FOOD - More #Bugonomics
(The Advertiser) – Feral bees have been all but wiped out in South Australia, putting the state’s agricultural industry at risk.
The state now depends on about 60 beekeepers for domestic bees to pollinate crops after the feral population was hit hard by the Bangor and Ngarkat bushfires, among others.
SA apiarist Leigh Duffield, who gave evidence to a Senate inquiry into the future of beekeeping, said bees in those areas were basically burnt out, and their feeding grounds destroyed.
“No bees, no food,” he said.
“About two-thirds of the food produced in Australia is dependent on pollination. For apples, pears, lucerne, almonds, it’s about 90 per cent.
“The whole community, the health of the whole community, is now very dependent on the wellbeing of about 60 commercial apiarists in Australia. We only generate $12 million from honey, but our add-on benefit is about half a billion.”
“As a consequence it is not possible to assess the level of threat posed to the beekeeping industry in Australia, but it would seem reasonable to project that should Varroa establish in Australia and reliance on managed pollination substantially increases, then CCD will become an increasingly important issue.”
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