August 2001Supplement

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Following the Annual General Meeting held in Tasmania in July, the Executive Committee for the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council has recommended a summary sheet be included with future newsletters to allow industry participants and those with a genuine interest in the industry a 30 second overview of what is happening in the industry. This sheet is the first of such a summary and articles on the front page of the newsletter may be followed up with a full review of the Monthly Update and/or a telephone call to the AHBIC office.

    • Australian Honey Bee Imports Under Scrutiny

The import of honey and apiary products has been much publicised in the press and the unofficial grapevine during the last month. Recent imports raised a number of issues regarding Australian import protocols and the need for Australian beekeepers to address biosecurity concerns. The AHBIC Executive has invited a representative from AQIS to attend its next meeting in Adelaide on 10th September to further discuss this issue.

    • AHBIC Executive Meeting

The AHBIC Executive is to meet in Adelaide on Monday 10th September 2001. This will be a normal Executive meeting except that an invitation has been extended to members of the South Australian Apiarists Association to meet and raise any concerns with the Executive in the afternoon. This will be followed by an informal dinner where local beekeepers can speak with the Executive members first hand. The proposed meeting is in line with the AHBIC recommendations that attempts be made to ensure that industry is fully informed of the activities of AHBIC and the concerns of beekeepers and the wider industry are at the forefront of policy development.

    • Pollinators on the Website

AHBIC is pleased to report that following correspondence from the National Council of Pollination Associations, registered pollinators are now listed on the website. This is an important industry initiative and will shortly be followed up by correspondence to peak farm bodies informing them of a new way to find appropriate pollinators to assist in crop production.

    • Grafton Contingency Training Workshop a Resounding Success

Animal Health Australia and AHBIC together hosted a contingency training workshop at Grafton on 16/17th July 2001. The meeting was attended by state response team leaders and departmental representatives from all states and the Northern Territory. The training workshop covered measures to identify exotic mites, the establishment of bait stations, an update of the Ausvet Plan, local disease control centre management and field activities designed to assist the beekeeping industry to identify and destroy exotic disease incursions. AHBIC welcomed the attendance of departmental officers, Bruce White, NSW Agriculture, Terry Thomas, Animal Health Australia and state and federal departmental officers.

The States have now been invited to prepare details of Stage 3 of the Exotic Honey Bee Disease Training Programme and provide details of proposed dates and locations to ensure the state, federal and local state response teams are available at short notice to meet local incursions.

    • Fire Blight Contingency Plan

A draft report outlining Australia’s preparedness to meet fire blight has been circularised by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The plan details:-

    • Prescribed actions following the notification of an outbreak
    • Awareness and preparedness
    • Diagnosis of fire blight, isolation and detection of E amylovora
    • Recommended survey and sampling methods
    • Recommended action for infected premises, contact and suspect premises
    • Recommended action for managed hives and feral honeybees

AHBIC will be responding formally to the plan and welcomes the inclusion of measures for the quarantine of bees in the case of a fire blight incursion.

    • Report on Annual General Meeting

AHBIC’s Annual General Meeting was held on 9/10th July 2001 in Hobart, Tasmania. The newsletter provides an update of the outcomes of this important meeting.

    • Stronger Penalties for Commercial Smuggling

AHBIC has received strongly supportive correspondence from the Hon. Warren Truss, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. The Minister agrees with AHBIC that there is a need to review the penalties for commercial smuggling of prohibited products into Australia. The response comes following AHBIC’s request that penalties be increased for people who knowingly import illegal substances for commercial gain. These people should be made aware of the consequences of their actions, not only to individuals, but to the industry as a whole.