AUSTRALIAN HONEY INDUSTRY
MONTHLY REVIEW

April 2002

All rights reserved This publication is copyright 


Voluntary Contributors to AHBIC

ABís Honey

Koonoomoo Apiaries

Australian Rain Forest Honey

R & E McDonald

Australian Honey Bee Improvement Programme

PB & CM McPherson

IJ & PA Oakley

Australian Queen Bee Exporters

RC & DJ Phillips Pty Ltd

Australian Sungold Queen Bees

Pollination Association of WA

Harold Ayton

Queen-Bee-Ann Apiaries

Beeline Queens

R. Stephens

Bradbury, GN and DJ

Swan Settlers

Bush Honey

Superbee Honey Factory

Capilano Honey Limited

Stephen Targett

CE Mills

Tasmanian Crop Pollination Association

Chiltern Honey

Tasmanian Honey Company

Coopers Fine Foods

T & M Weatherhead

Dewar Apiaries

Walkabout Apiaries

HL Hoskinson

Warral Apiaries

Hunter Valley Apiaries

Weerona Apiaries

 

Wescobee Limited

 

AHBIC acknowledges the beekeeper suppliers who contribute via their packer and queen bee supplier to AHBIC. We also urge beekeepers to support those packers/queen bee breeders who contribute to AHBIC.

Does your honey buyer's or queen bee supplier's name appear on this list?
If not, then ask 'why not?'
SUPPORT THOSE WHO SUPPORT YOUR INDUSTRY!

Australian Honeybee Industry Survey 2000-01

The honeybee industry is an important Australian industry. Although some limited information is available on honey production, very little detailed information is available on the physical and financial characteristics of honey producing businesses.

Lack of detailed, reliable statistics on the honey industry can be a factor hampering its future development.

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) and the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) have commissioned ABARE (Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics) to conduct a survey of honeybee producers. The survey will provide data on the economic circumstances of apiarists throughout Australia and will provide a basis for future industry analysis and forecasting.

Additionally, the survey will provide a socioeconomic profile of the industry. Information to be collected will include the age and education of apiarists along with the economics of honey production for different business types and locations.

Participation in this survey is voluntary. ABARE officers will be contacting apiarists during April and May asking them to participate in a telephone interview detailing production, income, costs, debts, capital and labour for 2000-01.

The information collected by ABARE will not be published or released in a form that will identify individuals or their businesses.

The industry as a whole will benefit from a better understanding of the economics of honey production. The survey will also provide valuable information to enable individual beekeepers, regardless of whether they were selected in the survey, to compare their financial performance with that of the industry and region.

If you are contacted by ABARE the AHBIC urges you to participate in the survey.


B-Qual Australia Pty Limited

A draft manual for the quality assurance programme has now been produced and will shortly be available on the website (www.honeybee.org.au) under the heading "What's New". If a paper copy is required, please contact the AHBIC office. Please note that the final version will be available for distribution after the trial workshops are completed in June 2002.

These pilot workshops will be held in Warwick, QLD on 19th June with 10 participants from each of Queensland and New South Wales and in Renmark, SA on 26th June with 10 participants from each of South Australia and Victoria. These participants will be selected from the membership of the relevant State Associations.

Australia's Performance Strong

In its recent report The New Economy: Beyond the Hype the OECD reported that Australia, Ireland and the Netherlands were the three OECD countries to register markedly stronger trend growth in GDP per capita over the past decade compared with the 1980s. Australia recorded 2.5% GDP growth per capita in the 90s compared with 1.6% in the 80s.

Australia also ranked a narrow second behind Finland in multi factor productivity (MFP) growth - being that part of GDP growth that is left after the contributions from labour and capital have been accounted for - effectively a measure of how efficiently capital and labour are combined.

The report also noted Australia's high level of secure servers per million inhabitants (behind only USA and Iceland) and Australia's relatively strong science-innovation links. Australia was also shown to have the third lowest barriers to setting up new businesses, after UK and Canada - with France and Italy having the highest barriers. In a separate survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Australia was ranked second (behind USA) among 60 nations in e-readiness. "The importance of a regulatory regime geared to e-business is clear in our rankings; it is the main factor that puts Australia 18 places ahead of its neighbour NZ".


NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF
AUSTRALIAN HONEY BEE INDUSTRY COUNCIL


Notice is hereby given that the AHBIC Annual General Meeting and Conference is to be held in Perth on 15th and 16th July 2002 at the Inter City Motel, 249-263 Great Eastern Highway, Belmont. This is to be followed by an AHBIC Executive Meeting on Wednesday 17th July 2002.

Details of accommodation arrangements are as follows:

Venue: Inter City Motel 249-263 Great Eastern Highway
Belmont WA 6104
Telephone: 08 9478 0888
Facsimile: 08 9478 0800
Reservations: 1800 888 081 (Toll free)

Room Rates: From $85.00 per room per night

Delegates should make their own travel and accommodation bookings direct and delegates are provided with this information early so that they can obtain the best airfares and make their own travel arrangements.

The WA Conference is to be held on Friday 12th July at the same venue and further details can be obtained by contacting:-

Lucy Beckwith, Executive Officer
WA Farmers Federation
PO BOX 6892
EAST PERTH WA 6892
Ph: 08 9325 2933
Fx: 08 9325 4197
email - lucybeckwith@waff.org.au

Notice of Special Resolutions

In accordance with Section 19 of the AHBIC Constitution:-

"The Constitution may only be altered at an Annual General Meeting by a Special Resolution. Members organisations and trade journals are to be advised at least 30 days before the Annual General Meeting of such resolutions."

The following constitutional amendments have been formally resolved at an Executive Meeting and are put forward for consideration by delegates and member bodies for formal resolution at the Annual General Meeting in accordance with the above.

Constitutional amendments

Delete Rule 4.4 and replace with
4.4 Member organisations shall notify in writing of the appointment and or withdrawal of a delegate(s). The notification is to include the address and contact details of any such appointment(s) and whether they are voting or non voting delegate(s).

Such notifications to be sent to the Secretary as soon as practical within 14 days of such appointment.

Delete Rule 5.2.1 (b) and replace with
5.2.1
(b) (b) each nominee may submit a two hundred (200) word statement.

(c) the nomination shall be delivered to the Secretary of AHBIC not less than twenty eight days prior to the date fixed for the holding of the Annual General Meeting. All delegates are to be notified of all nominations at least fourteen days prior to the holding of the Annual General Meeting.

(d) If no nominations are received as required under 5.2.1 (a) and 5.2.1 (c), nominations shall be taken from the floor at the next Annual General Meeting.

Delete Rule 5.2.2 and replace with
5.2.2 If more than one nomination is received, a secret ballot shall be held.

(a) If more than two (2) nominations are received a series of elimination ballots shall be held until one nominee has more than 50% of the votes of those present and voting. In each elimination ballot, the nominee with the least number of votes shall be eliminated.

If each of the two last candidates should have equal numbers of votes after two ballots, then the Chair of that particular session shall have a casting vote

(b) The ballot papers are to be destroyed by the scrutineers after the declaration of the ballot. The number of votes per nominee shall only be made public on the agreement of all nominees

5.2.6 (d) Delete "by ill health".

Add new section
5.2.7 If, for any reason, the position of Chairman should become vacant the Executive shall be empowered to either appoint a person to fill this position for the rest of the term or to call for nominations for an election to fill this position. Any such elections shall be conducted either by postal vote or a meeting of the voting delegates to be held at the direction of the Executive.

Delete Rule 5.3.1 (b) and replace with
5.3.1
(b) (b) each nominee may submit a two hundred (200) word statement.

(c) the nomination shall be delivered to the Secretary of AHBIC not less than twenty eight days prior to the date fixed for the holding of the Annual General Meeting. All delegates are to be notified of all nominations at least fourteen days prior to the holding of the Annual General Meeting.

(d) If no nominations are received as required under 5.3.1 (a) and 5.3.1 (c), nominations shall be taken from the floor at the next Annual General Meeting.

Delete Rule 5.3.2 and replace with
5.3.2 If more than one nomination is received, a secret ballot shall be held.

(a) If more than two (2) nominations are received a series of elimination ballots shall be held until one nominee has more than 50% of the votes of those present and voting. In each elimination ballot, the nominee with the least number of votes shall be eliminated.

If each of the two last candidates should have equal numbers of votes after two ballots, then the Chair of that particular session shall have a casting vote

(c) The ballot papers are to be destroyed by the scrutineers after the declaration of the ballot. The number of votes per nominee shall only be made public on the agreement of all nominees

5.3.6 (d) Delete "by ill health".

Add new section
5.3.7 If, for any reason, the position of Deputy Chairman should become vacant the Executive shall be empowered to either appoint a person to fill this position for the rest of the term or to call for nominations for an election to fill this position. Any such elections shall be conducted either by postal vote or a meeting of the voting delegates to be held at the direction of the Executive.

Rule 7.2 be deleted and replaced with
7.2 Member organisations shall pay a membership fee for each voting delegate on AHBIC determined by the Council at each Annual General Meeting. Any proposed alteration to this fee to be notified to the Secretary not less than twenty eight days prior to the date fixed for the holding of the Annual General Meeting. All delegates are to be notified of such proposal at least fourteen days prior to the holding of the Annual General Meeting

Regulation 2 in Annexure 1 be deleted.

Rule 15.4 be deleted and replaced with
15.4 The Executive Committee shall appoint a minimum of two members to authorise the transfer of funds from the General Account to the Working Account.

ANNEXURE 1
New 1.4 All contributions are inclusive of GST

Old 1.4 now be 1.5

Foreshadowed Resolutions - A National Approach to the Management and Control of American Foulbrood (AFB)

In order to establish an effective approach to the future management and control of AFB it is proposed that the Australian Honeybee Industry Council consider and adopt the following resolutions:

Resolution #1:

The AHBIC confirms its commitment to manage AFB through the development and implementation of a coordinated national program based on the framework outlined in Part A of the Policy Paper developed by Hassall & Associates.

Resolution #2:

The AHBIC agrees to enter into detailed discussions with the Animal Health Australia (AHA) to determine how a National AFB Control and Management Program might be operationalised and funded.

Resolution #3:

Preparatory to that meeting the AHBIC agrees to establish a process (working group) to determine:
o the specific Objectives and Targets for a National AFB Program;
o the nature and extent of activities its members are prepared to fund (including the type of compensation payments they are prepared to support); and
o the nature and extent of support they will seek from other industry and government stakeholders.

Resolution #4:

The AHBIC agrees to initiate a meeting of other key stakeholders to develop a collective approach to the management and control of AFB, including:
o confirming shared Objectives and Targets for a National AFB Management and Control Program;
o agreeing on respective roles, responsibilities; and
o agreeing on the activities to be undertaken and the nature and extent of resources each will contribute to the program.

Resolution #5:

The AHBIC agrees that the Program should be subject to annual review with a more fundamental reassessment of the Program's objectives and strategic approach being undertaken at three-yearly intervals.

A copy of the Hassall report has been sent to delegates and state secretaries for discussion at state and sector levels. Copies of the report are also available from the AHBIC office on request.

Biosecurity Plan Complete

The industry biosecurity plan is now complete and has been lodged with both ANZFA and Animal Health Australia. A copy will shortly be available on the website or copies can be obtained by contacting the AHBIC office.

Resource Conference - Canberra

Plans are well under way for the Resource Conference which is to be held in Canberra on April 30 and May 1, 2002. Any interested industry members who wish to attend this important event should contact the AHBIC office for a registration form.

Tax Planning - Farm Management Deposits

At this time of year the thoughts of business managers and owners turn to tax planning and management and the following may be of interest to some members of the beekeeping industry.

The current Farm Management scheme is designed to provide primary producers with a risk management package to hold over income in good years by deferring any tax payable on those amounts and allowing it to be drawn down in years when additional cash is needed.

The object of the scheme is to provide relief for the farming community by enabling them to better manage their cash flows through good year and bad. As a concept this is tantamount to evening out their income flows to prevent penal rate of tax eroding their ability ro manage their affairs when times are tough.

The scheme has the following broad features -

· taxpayers are entitled to claim a deduction for deposits to the scheme and will be assessed on withdrawals in later years;
· interest on deposits is set at the Commonwealth 3 year bond rate and paid on the investment component of the deposit;
· certain financial institutions are permitted to accept farm deposits; and
· depositors are permitted to make deposits with one financial institution.

Important: Business making withdrawals from the scheme will need to ensure that they have registered for an Australian Business Number (ABN) or apply for a TFN. That ABN or TFN must be provided to avoid tax being withheld at a flat rate 48.5% on withdrawals. Withdrawals from a Farm Management Deposit account are added to the holder's PAYG instalment income for the appropriate period.

What is a Farm Management Deposit? A Farm Management Deposit (FMD) must be made with a financial institution under an agreement that describes the deposit as an FMD. The deposit must -

· be between $1,000 and $300,000;
· be made by the owner. It cannot be made in joint names or on behalf of 2 or more persons (companies are excluded from making deposits);
· not be made by a trustee unless the beneficiary is presently entitled to a share of the income of the trust and is under a legal disability;
· be made with only one financial institution;
· not be transferable to another person;
· not have a charge or other encumbrance created over it;
· not have interest or other earnings invested as a FMD with the financial institution without first having been paid to the depositor;
· not be made to an offset account;
· not to be repaid to the depositor within 12 months of the applicable depositing day unless it is transferred to another financial institution or is as a result of death, bankruptcy or loss of primary production status of the owner.

Any amount that is repaid within 12 months (see exceptions above) will not be treated as an FMD and therefore will not quality for a tax deduction.

Claiming tax deductions for FMDs The taxpayer will be entitled to an income tax deduction for an FMD provided -

· they are the owner of the FMD;
· their taxable income from non-primary production income was $50,000 or less;
· they did not become bankrupt during the income year or cease to be a primary producer for 120 days or more (whether during the income year or not); and
· the sum of FMD deductions is equal to or less than the person's taxable primary production income for the income year.

Amounts deposited as FMDs are deductible in the order they were made. The amount of deductions for an FMD is limited to the person's taxable primary production income.

Assessable FMDs The repayment of an FMD in whole or in part is assessed in the hands of the owner when the amount is repaid. A transfer to another financial institution is not treated as a repayment.

The owner is automatically deemed to have received the repayment of the FMD is he/she dies, becomes bankrupt or ceases to be a primary producer for 120 days or more. The earnings from an FMD are assessed to the owner as they are derived.

If an FMD is repaid, in whole or in part, then the financial institution is required to deduct Pay As You Go Withholding tax if no ABN or TFN has been quoted.

For further information on any of the above and to decide whether this act would be of benefit to your business, please consult your financial advisor or accountant.

CROP, STOCK AND COMMITTEE REPORTS


Crop and Stock Report - New South Wales

There are not many prospects for the coming winter. Napunyah is well budded in some locations and no bud in others. Overall the budding is far from general. With most districts wanting good general rains, the prospects for next spring are not looking good. There are some good patches of yellow box budded in the central west but overall it is not general. Stringy bark for the next autumn is much the same with some good patches and some with no bud at all. Spotted gum on the south coast is much the same.

Honey is still in very short supply with virtually no beekeepers holding honey. The price of honey is still on the increase with prices of $2.60 being paid.

Eddie Podmore

Crop Report - Tasmania

Autumn in Tasmania - a small bonus for the beekeeper as, finally, warmer weather arrived, a few flowers left and the hives have been able to gather sufficient winter supplies. In some cases a wee small surplus has been taken as the majority of the hives have now been prepared for the winter. Just a few have been moved to a spasmodic flowering of white gum eucalypt. Reports would indicate very little surplus, if any.

Quite a few frosts have occurred with the warm dry period which has extended over all the state during the last month. Signs of this dry spell breaking are imminent as I write - rain on the east coast and southern areas for the Targa Car Race.

Supplies of honey in Tasmania would be at an all time low with local and overseas markets already being rationed.

An appeal to the DPIWE for assistance has initiated an industry review by the Department of State Development and DPIWE. This will be carried our urgently, beginning next week. Apiarists with over 200 hives will be invited to participate. Confidentiality has been assured. The results should see the industry gain much needed recognition and assist is in our possible Exceptional Circumstances claim. Dr Rick Campbell will guide the Management Committee for the Industry Control Programme, made necessary by the new Animal Health Act which replaces compulsory registration of beekeepers.

Shirley Stephens

Crop Report - Victoria

The next substantial honey crops in Victoria will not happen until at least spring 2002, when migrations to canola throughout the state and to the Riverina districts of New South Wales occur, followed by Paterson's curse. The potential of these crops is very much conditional on adequate rainfall through the winter and spring. Some rain has fallen in the Riverina and germination of Paterson's curse has started. More rain is needed to get the plants up and away. With the weather still so mild, there is a chance that, with a little more moisture, a good germination across the region will result. The last thing this state needs for honey production in 2002-2003 is another dry winter and spring.

The gradual drying out of the landscape for several decades now is having an increasingly greater deleterious effect on our nectar and pollen producing flora, more so in some regions than others. Trees under stress from lack of soil moisture, seem to be more predisposed to other stress factors, adding further detrimental effects to the floral resources. One has only had to witness the effect of the odd wet period over the last three decades on our eucalypts to realise the importance of soil moisture to tree health, growth, budding and production performance.

No better example to demonstrate the importance of soil moisture on melliferous flora has been the Gippsland experience this season. Adequate rainfall pre-season and intermittently throughout has ensure the best production for many years in the region. In particular, coastal banksia exceeded expectations aided by cooler than normal weather. At the time of writing this report, most of Gippsland has just received between 8-10 inches of rain, drenching the region and virtually bringing to a halt any further significant production this side of winter. Paradoxically, the main honey producing eucalypt species in Gippsland have not budded well for next season. This may be due to excessive growth spurts that were responses to the exceptional rainfall pattern. However, heavy growth now on the short budders may augur well for next season's autumn prospects. Elsewhere in the state, a lot of beekeepers have been doing it hard trying to get a reasonable crop in the can and to get enough honey on the hives to tide them over winter. The best production reports since red gum in later January have been coming out of the southern Riverina where a few Victorian beekeepers have produced an outstanding high quality crop of black mallee. Yellow mallee is still flowering and doing a little. In central Victoria, patches of manna gum are providing conditions.

In western Victoria, reports indicate that banksia in the Little Desert has cobbed up fairly well and will flower over winter. However, this southern region will need to experience a mild winter for beekeepers to get the best out of it.

Further to the north, on the southern end of the Big Desert, a reasonable cobbing of banksia has been recently wiped out by a fuel reduction burn which got out of control. About 50,000 acres were destroyed, rendering about 20 bee sites unproductive for many years. North west mallee prospects for next season, apart from patches of acorn mallee are nothing special. However, the ground flora, wild turnip, has germinated and, given some rain in the new few weeks, could be flowering by early July and help to lift bees for almond pollination during August.

Linton Briggs

Crop Report - South Australia

The long, dry spell is continuing.

West Coast - (Upper) Euc. gracilis (white mallee) starting to flower but not producing at this stage. Euc diversifolia just beginning to flower, reasonably well budded, could be a prospect for winter if weather conditions favourable.
(Lower) Peppermint poorly budded, patchy lincoln weed suitable for pollen only; Euc diversifolia is reasonably well budded in places, but late.

Northern - (Upper) Conditions are very dry. Waiting for good opening rains and early spring build up - and a more prosperous season.
(Lower) Light Tea tree nectar yield but useful hive build up conditions. Due to the dry autumn and spraying programs by farmers, lincoln weed less prominent. Peppermint patchy.

Central - Dryland Tea tree is still flowering and being of some use. Pink gum has started but needs rain to yield. Everything is dry and crying out for a drink!

Kangaroo Island - Sugar gum has been about a month late this year but has produced very well, just finishing now. Cup gum has budded well in places, we may get some if it rains a bit later. Euc. diversifolia has budded well and prospects look good for spring.

South East - Dry conditions are preventing bees being shifted onto most wintering sites.
There is a dribble of honey coming in where there are the odd loads of bees accessing winter foraging. Cobbing of Banksia looks good in some areas but rain is needed desperately.

Barossa - Peppermint is just starting to flower, it is not well budded and is patchy.

Kay Lambert

Crop and Stock Report - Queensland

Many areas of the state are now carrying promising budding and growth.

Hill Gum, Yellow Box, Yapunyah, Narrow Leaved Iron Bark and Bluetop Iron Bark are amongst the best prospects. Grey Iron Bark has set some bud. Spotted Gum also shows some promise.
For the most part, hives are in good condition.

All prospects require rain. If it does not rain shortly, expect sugar feeding. Following the below average season, beekeepers are not carrying stocks of honey.

Bill Winner