Voluntary Contributors to AHBIC
AHBIC wishes to thank all those who contribute to the support
of the organisation. It would be prudent, when purchasing queen
bees or selling honey, to consider supporting those who support
the industry and conduct price comparisons on that basis. A
list of all current contributors appears below.
Australian Bee Exporters
Australian Rain Forest Honey
Australian Honey Bee Improvement Programme
Capilano Honey Limited
Coopers Fine Foods
HL & HM Hoskinson
Hunter Valley Apiaries
IJ & PA Oakley
Jackel & Son
R & E McDonald
RC & DJ Phillips Pty Ltd
T & M Weatherhead
Windsor Farm Foods Pty Limited
Development of Beekeeping in East Africa
Following is an extract from correspondence received regarding
investment opportunities in East Africa and a request for assistance.
From: Progressive Interventions
Progressive Interventions (PI) is an Irish-registered international
development agency focused on helping small and medium enterprise
in East and Central Africa. One of the most underdeveloped natural
resources in the region is honey production and with the support
of international donors, we are working on a number of bee product
development projects with various producer groups in the region.
We also help local investors to invest in market opportunities
and one such that may have potential here is 'migratory beekeeping'.
We are trying to compile a profile for potential African investors
and would like to contact anybody doing this in Australia so
we can get further information. Perhaps you can help us or can
point us to somebody doing this.
Thanking you for your kind assistance,
Programme Development Manager
If you can provide assistance in any way, please make direct
contact with the writer.
The Fifth Budget of the Howard Government was brought down
on Tuesday 9th May 2000. The initiatives of the 2000/2001
budget announced for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries
and Forestry were:-
Agriculture – Advancing Australia (AAA)
- $309.4 million for the extended Agriculture – Advancing
Australia (AAA) package;
- $22.3 million for protecting animal and plant health;
- $8.5 million to strengthen Australia’s quarantine defences;
- $9.15 million to tighten quarantine border protection for
East Timor operations and the Sydney 2000 Games; and
- $3.65 million, as part of the national biotechnology strategy,
to develop systems to ensure accurate identification of the
origin of agriculture and food products.
The major components of the extended AAA package are:
The successful FarmBis and Property Management Planning schemes
will be integrated into a new, broader and more accessible programme
with substantially increased funding. The new programme will
strengthen the skills base of rural industries. The expanded
programme begins in July 2001, when funding for the existing
FarmBis and PMP programmes expires. Design of the new programme
will be settled in consultation with the States and other stakeholders.
For the 2001-01 financial year, FarmBis and PMP will continue
but with a new national component introduced in July 2000 to
address major national issues such as industry adjustment; creating
national and international supply networks; and product quality
and safety. It will also encourage increased participation of
women and young people in our rural industries. ($167.5 million
over four years.
Farm Help – Supporting Families Through Change extends
the successful Farm Family Restart Scheme, which helps farmers
in severe financial difficulties. About 4,000 farmers have already
used Farm Family Restart to support themselves through a crisis
or, in some cases, to commence a new life after farming. ($111.2
million over four years)
Farm Innovation – The Key to Success is a two-year pilot
programme designed to encourage innovation and diversification
in farming. It will help our farmers modernise and diversify
their businesses by using the latest production techniques.
Farmers and farming enterprises will also receive assistance
to develop supply networks in new and developing industries.
($18.2 million over two years)
Farm Growth Through Export Growth – Bilateral Cooperation
Agreements will support continuing negotiations with our
major regional trading partners to overcome regulatory and other
barriers to Australian exports. The agreements with China and
Indonesia will be strengthened and new initiatives developed
with other markets such as Thailand. ($6.5 million over four
Retirement Assistance for Farmers Scheme will be extended
until June 2001.
Animal and Plant Health
Australia benefits immensely from our relative freedom from
major plant and animal diseases. Our clean green reputation
underpins agricultural exports worth about $24 billion per year.
The government will invest an additional $22.3 million over
the next four years to maintain Australia’s status as a supplier
of high quality, ‘clean green’ agricultural produce. This funding
will be provided to Animal Health Australia and Plant Health
Australia to strengthen our post-barrier infrastructure and
improve our ability to manage disease and pest emergencies.
A national approach to animal and plant health will enhance
the long-term security of our rural industries.
This year’s Budget includes additional funding of $1.55 million
for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)
to manage quarantine border security during the Sydney 2000
Olympic and Paralympic Games and $7.6 million over four years
for managing quarantine risks due to the movement of people
and equipment into and out of East Timor.
The budget for 2001-2 includes $8.5 million to allow AQIS to
maintain its commitment to the current level of quarantine activities
associated with its airport operations and risk analysis functions.
It is said that the 2000-1 Budget initiatives build on earlier
Federal Government initiatives, which are delivering, support
to farmers and regional communities and should not be seen in
Other Budget initiatives include:
- implementation of a National Biotechnology Strategy
including the introduction of gene technology regulations
and a public awareness campaign;
- continuing the Food and Fibre Chains Programme to
build stronger relationships along the agri-chain from the
producer through to the consumer;
- restoring ground water pressure in the Great Artesian
Basin, mainly through grants to Queensland, NSW and South
Australia to fix bores and replace open drains with piping.
(A total of $6.215 million is available in 2000-1);
- continuing the Government’s Supermarket to Asia Strategy
to improve the competitiveness of Australia’s food exports
and seize opportunities in the growing markets of Asia;
- ongoing funding to the Northern Australia Quarantine
Strategy to manage the quarantine risks to northern Australia;
- continuing commitment to monitoring and implementing Regional
Forest Agreements which underpin future investment in
the forest and wood products industry and provide ongoing
security for forest industries and communities; continuing
the Plantations 2020 Vision programme and pursuing the development
of an Action Agenda for forest and wood products to help drive
industry and market development;
- protecting Australia’s important Sub-Antarctic Fishery
from illegal fishing, especially with regard to the Pantagonian
toothfish and working on the development of an Action Agenda
for Aquaculture; and
The Budget implications for the rural sector are described in
detail on the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia
- funding for Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) programmes
administered under the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
portfolio to promote and encourage sustainable agriculture
and natural resource management (in 2000-1 $185 million will
be provided through AFFA and NHT programmes, with additional
funding provided for Landcare and Murray Darling Basin initiatives).
The other key aspects of the Budget papers included, of course,
the introduction of the Government’s new taxation system.
The following key criticisms have been levelled at the Budget:
- The tax cuts of $12 billion are supposed to commence from
1 July 2000. However, the effect of bracket creep is already
evident in the budget figures. A rough estimate is that there
is a claw back from individuals of somewhere between $2 billion
and $2.5 billion;
- Possibly one of the losers from this budget and from tax
reform is small business. The effect of the clawing forward
of PAYG instalments will mean that business will need to remit
payments to the Taxation Office much earlier than was previously
the case and these payments are based on turnover and do not
allow for non-receipt of payment from customers. Consider
this scenario. The Government estimates that the economy will
grow by approximately 3.75% and the corporate tax rate is
to reduce from 36% to 34%. In that environment the tax take
from corporate Australia increases by over $7 billion or more
- The inflation rate is expected to be as high as 5.75%.
If that is the official expectation then you can expect it
to be higher in reality. The much lauded 4% (plus an additional
2% buffer) as an increase in Government pensions and allowances
may provide little comfort for those retired and on welfare
who must cope with the price increases expected as a result
of the GST.
On 22nd December 1999, the Australian Honey Bee
Industry Council requested a private ruling in respect of GST
and its effect on the honey industry. The Australian Taxation
Office (ATO) has finally responded to this request and, given
the importance of the issue, the private ruling is attached
in full for your information. Details of the diesel fuel rebate
scheme are also attached.
Members should also be aware that the ATO has introduced an
Australian Business Number (ABN). The ABN is the identifying
number which will be used by business when dealing with other
businesses. For example, you will need to put an ABN on your
invoices to other businesses to avoid having tax withheld from
payments to you. You will use the ABN in dealings with the ATO
on other elements of the new taxation system and in dealing
with other areas of government. Members are urged to contact
their accountant or financial advisor for advice on whether
they should register for an ABN.
The Government will introduce Pay As You Go (PAYG) in place
of provisional tax. PAYG will affect:-
If you are liable to pay provisional tax or company and superannuation
fund instalments for the 1999/2000 income year, then you will
probably be liable for PAYG instalments. Again, members should
contact their financial advisors or accountants for further information
on this important change to the taxation system.
- businesses, non profit organisations and government organisations
- individuals with investment or business income such as
self funded retirees, rental property owners, partners in
a partnership and beneficiaries of a trust and some trustees
Kay Elson to Address the Annual General Meeting
The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council has received confirmation
that Ms Kay Elson, Federal Member for Forde and the Government
Whip, will be the guest speaker at the Annual Conference to
be held at the Park Regis Hotel, Southport, Queensland on 10th/11th
Ms Elson has kindly agreed to be the keynote speaker at the
Conference following the unavailability of the Hon Warren Truss,
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Ms Elson has been Federal Member for Forde since 1996, is the
current Government Whip and is a member of the following Parliamentary
National Workshop – Codex Alimentarius Commission
- House of Representatives Standing Committee on Family and
- House of Representatives Selection Committee
- House of Representatives Joint Standing Committee on Treaties
- Government Defence and Veterans Affairs Policy Committee
- Government Education, Training and Youth Affairs Policy
- Government Communications, Information Technology, Arts
and The Centenary of Federation Policy Committee
- Government Environment and Heritage Policy Committee
- Government Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business
- Government Health and Aged Care Policy Committee
AHBIC has been invited to attend the workshop on Codex to be
held in Canberra on Tuesday 1st August 2000. The
workshop will focus on the role and importance of the Codex
Alimentarius Commission (Codex) for Australia’s agri-food industry.
The objectives for the industry workshop are:
- To raise awareness of the importance of the work of Codex
for Australia’s agri-food producing industries;
- To identify measures that will enhance the ability of food
producing industries to contribute to Australia’s input to,
and decision processes in regard to, the work of Codex;
The outcomes and recommendations of the workshop will be:
- To identify measures that will assist the government in
representing the interests of industry across the work of
- reported to the National Codex Committee, the Codex Policy
Committee*, and to respective government/industry bodies and
- integrated into the Strategic Objectives for Achieving
Australia’s Interest in Codex and incorporated into the
Codex Australia work programme; and
* Codex Policy Committee is a newly established high-level committee
of Commonwealth agency officials.
- referred to agri-food industry councils, and representative
The Department of Health has recently released a report on
changes to the way in which Australians eat. The most noteable
changes in per capita consumption of the various foods are as
||20yr change (%)
|Meat and meat products
Excellent Share Returns
As part of the AHBIC Review, consideration will also be given
to making the organisation even more financially solid. The
following information is provided for your consideration.
Despite the current volatility of the Australian stock market,
it is interesting to note that long term investors in the share
market have still received excellent returns over the last fifteen
years as demonstrated by the examples below.
VALE: John Herbert Silcock
- $A100 invested in December 1986 (nearly a year before the
1987 crash) in a portfolio of shares on the following exchanges
would, at close of business on April 20th (after
the recent April 17 correction), be worth the following amounts
in $A and in real terms (i.e. after reduction for CPI
- The NZ market never recovered from the 1987 crash. Australia’s
performance in the last five years has been modest compared
with that of Germany, UK, HK and USA where returns are quite
PRESIDENT - Pollination Association of Western Australia.
Member - Consultative Committee for the Protection of the Bee
Industry [Beeguard] WA.
Member of AHBIC
John Silcock has been involved in the WA beekeeping industry
in many other ways: founding member of the Western Australian
Beekeepers Association and he attended Agriculture WA meetings
and was involved in many field days promoting pollination.
One thing that stood out with John was that he was a 'doer'
- if he said he was going to do something he eventually would
do it. A cucurbit grower rang me after his death and said John
had a rare characteristic (for these days) which was that he
was a man of his word and had become his friend. Even up until
he first felt unwell, he was heading on his first major foray
into long distance pollination (3,400 km) to the north of the
State where he delivered his bees on time in late April [his
son Clayton and long time beekeeper friend Jim Ligman were his
companions on the epic trip].
I got to know him well through his involvement with the Beetube
pollination system in which he basically became my defacto field
assistant. He was the first to commercialise it and a number
of cucurbit growers are very grateful he did.
I saw him three days before he passed away in Royal Perth Hospital
and I said I didn't know what to say. He said "that’s alright,
I can't believe it myself". He was bravely facing his affliction
though very emotionally distraught throughout my visit. Only
a few beekeepers managed to see him for which I knew he was
grateful. All that was happening to John was a shock to him.
He said softly "I've always been fit and strong". He could not
understand it, nor could anyone else especially his wife Lesley,
son Clayton and daughter Rebecca.
John passed away on the 10th May, two months off
his 63rd birthday and apparently on his father’s
birthday. It was a beautiful sunny day, the 16th
of May, when he was laid to rest in Pinnaroo Memorial Gardens
[Melaleuca Court] north of Perth under a coppiced Jarrah tree
which was again growing tall. John would have loved the spot,
where the small grey kangaroos were mingling in and around all
the bunches of flowers in the lawns, leftover from mothers day
- a good apiary site is what the priest said.
It’s A Buzz Video
The television production team of Our House which is broadcast
on the Nine Network has again consulted AHBIC. Members will
be aware that, in consultation with AHBIC and the NSW Apiarists’
Association, Our House is developing a programme in respect
of the honey industry and the production company has been given
consent to use the "It’s A Buzz" video.
It is pleasing to see that the industry is gaining some positive
Request from Korea
We have recently received a request for honey products as follows:
We take pleasure in introducing our company to you.
We are a business firm which works in the import and export
of health goods in Korea .
We are interested in Royal Jelly ( Fresh, Capsule type)
, Korean Ginseng with Royal Jelly, Green Lipped Mussel Extract
for Arthritis and wish to ask you for more information about
Please introduce me to "The Tasmanian Honey Company (Tasmanian
Honey maker)" and "Royal Jelly maker (Royal Jelly of Australia
Thank for your cooperation and look forward to hearing from
If any supplier is interested in this request, please make
director contact with Mr Koh by email at email@example.com
CROP, STOCK AND COMMITTEE REPORTS
Crop Report – Tasmania
Autumn has been quite mild with very little rain. The midlands
and southern parts of Tasmania are in drought conditions. Good
soaking winter rains are needed. Generally hives have gone into
winter in good condition with plentiful stores. The few hives
which came back from the heatherwood country for dark stringy
bark did reasonably well. Overall hive production, because of
a good summer, returned to average yields although this is still
well below the usual in Tasmania, because of chalkbrood, hive
numbers and hive populations. Domestic sales are sluggish and
overseas market inquiries low, with only a few sales in that
area. Very good stocks of honey are held by beekeepers.
Reminder: Tasmania’s Annual Conference is at Ulverstone
on 16th and 17th June 2000.
Packer Reports - May 2000
Honey Stocks - These are at average levels with the majority
of stock held being of light bottling grades. Darker grades,
more suited for export sale to Europe, are generally in short
supply. Overall stock levels are reducing quickly as the season
is well and truly over.
Stock holding by Beekeepers - Good stocks would be held in
the southern regions however, supplies in Northern New South
Wales and Queensland would be nearly nil.
Future Crops - Some winter prospects exist from the Channel
Country on Yapunyah but access to the area is hampered by wet
conditions. Little production is expected here until after winter
with cool weather expected soon.
Longer term prospects for 2000/01 look about normal at this
Overseas Demand - Some regular users of Australian honey have
been buying however, in the main, buyers have gone quiet in
the past two months due to the strength of the US dollar. Buyers
are expected to buy cautiously for this reason as the European
currencies are weak. Prices have been driven lower in US dollar
terms over the past two months by buyers of honey for the major
origins of Argentina, China etc.
Our lower Australian dollar helps to soften the impact of falling
US dollar prices however, with the lack of supply and demand
for Australian honey, Australian prices should be able to be
held at current levels. Exporters selling in Australian dollars
need to reassess their prices regularly to avoid selling too
cheaply while the Australian dollar is falling.
Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Australia
The big news for the month is that the United States Department
of Agriculture has finally gazetted the Draft Pest Risk Assessment
(PRA) for Australia. This happened on 3 May, 2000.
The document does not hold anything that should go against
us. It has to be out in the public domain for 60 days for comment
and then the USDA has to analyse the comments made and make
a final decision.
It is hoped that Australia will be in a position to send live
bees to the USA for next season. This is a position that industry,
mainly through the Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association,
has been trying to achieve for many years now. Our thanks go
to AQIS for their work in finally having the PRA published and
to AHBIC for its lobbying of the relevant government departments.
Varroa in New Zealand
It would seem that the varroa found in New Zealand is the pathogenic
variety that Dr. Denis Anderson will be calling Varroa destructor.
This then still leaves the question that we have been looking
at now for several months and that is whether jacobsoni left
on its own with only mellifera and no cerana will reproduce
on mellifera. Possible research on this is being looked at.
The possibility of eradicating the varroa from New Zealand
has been floated but on a personal note I believe that this
will not be possible. It is certainly possible to keep it out
of the South Island if it has not already arrived there but
in the North Island, I believe it is there to stay. There have
been too many finds and it is already in the feral population.
Drone Semen Importation
AQIS is looking at a protocol for importing drone semen to
Australia. This was on the agenda a couple of years ago but
was overtaken by other events.
With the advent of being able to export to the USA, there have
been overtures made to have stock from the USA imported to Australia,
through the right channels at Wallgrove, and then reproduced
for sending back to the USA. Similar approaches have been made
from certain countries in Europe where they feel that our stock
does not stand up to their winters as well as the local stock.
They would like to be able to get queen bees earlier than they
are able from their local producers.
We must be mindful of what has happened in New Zealand and
try to eliminate the necessity for people to illegally bring
in stock from overseas. Present prices to use Wallgrove are
very high so any legal means that maintains our pest free status
needs to be considered. I feel that semen importation is one
of these means.
The final draft would be available for comment in Australia
before it is implemented.
The Internet – Blessing or Curse
The Internet has become an integral part of our life. It is
great for receiving information but it does have its down side.
Recently a beekeeper in Russia sent an email to many beekeepers
in Australia advertising the fact that queen bees were for sale
and would be sent by the post. I sent an email back to him telling
him of our quarantine requirements in Australia and sent a copy
of the correspondence to AQIS. Copies of this correspondence
have been circulated by AHBIC.
It goes to show that in a very short time, much information
can be sent to beekeepers in Australia and there is no knowing
how many have received that message and how they will react
to the information they receive.
We are grateful to Dr. David Banks at AQIS for his prompt action
in alerting Australia Post to this and Australia Post have agreed
to be extra vigilant.
CHAIRMAN - QUARANTINE SUB-COMMITTEE
Crop Report – New South Wales
Very little change from the last report. There have been good
rains over most of the state and, at this stage, it is looking
good for a ground flora spring. There are some good patches
of yellow box in the central west and also the south west but
not as general as the season just passed. Stringy bark is well
budded in most areas of the central and south of the state.
Napunyah is not as well budded as was expected but will all
the good rain, ground flora should be a big help in the Napunyah
Stock Report – New South Wales
Very little change from the last report with little or no honey
being held by most beekeepers.
Crop Report – South Australia
The potential for serious problems with locusts is still likely
in the coming spring. Some locust spraying is taking place under
the jurisdiction of councils with chemical supplied by the Primary
Industries and Resources SA. Councils have been advised of areas
where apiaries could be situated. Reports of locust laying appears
to be widespread.
South East: Banksia is yielding in patched,
providing good wintering for bees. Styphilia proved useful
in patches but has almost finished. Good rains are still
lacking in the south east.
West Coast: Prospects are restricted mainly
to an area of the west coast where a thunderstorm went
through. Lincoln weed is still yielding pollen. Euc.
diversifolia, still in its early flowering stage, is
yielding in patches where it is budded adequately. Soaking
rains needed for now and spring and summer prospects.
Riverland: Good early rains have been received. Some white
mallee is looking promising.
Central: No winter prospects. Good early rains will
help set up spring.
Northern: Lower: While mallee is patchy.
Weather conditions not conducive to honey production.
Apiarists are managing their bees in readiness for the
Upper: Grey box has yielded some honey, but
has practically finished flowering now. Good rains auger
well for spring prospects, subject to follow up rains.
Ground flora prospects for spring time could be limited
thou, owing to the expected bad locust infestation.
Resource Report – Queensland
Since last month’s report, we have had visited upon us the "Nature
Conservation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2000 (consultation
draft)". This is the enabling legislation for the RFA. It transfers
the 425,000 hectare from which logging has been excluded, to a
holding tenure of Forest Reserve. This tenure does not change
beekeepers' use rights and is to last no more then five years,
while permanent tenure is decided. It also creates a new tenure
of National Park (Recovery). This tenure can be used for areas
which are degraded or have a patch of plantation pine. National
Park (Recovery) allows for claims for extra money to help in regenerating
these areas. It also excludes beekeeping on expiry of existing
permits. This caused considerable consternation amount the Management
committee and, after much deliberation, we have put in a submission
on the Bill. My contacts have indicated that DSD gave the drafting
of this Bill to an EPA officer because they did not want stakeholders
shouting at them. He was not given enough time to consult with
We have also been given a chart called the Stakeholder/Government
Structure for Implementation. This is headed by the Implementation
Advisory Committee, made up of DSD, Queensland Timber Board
and Australian Rainforest Conservation Society. It is to decide
the tenure and use of all areas. Rod McInnes of the Queensland
Timber Board has said in the past that he will not make decisions
on the future of other industries. He is away at present, so
I have not spoken to him recently, but I will soon. Aila Keto
of the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society says she wants
full consultation with all stakeholders. She said that there
was considerable tension between conservationists and Aboriginal
groups until they sat down together and found some Government
Officers had been giving each side inaccurate information on
what the other side was saying. The old ‘divide and rule’ tactic
Crop Report – Queensland
Most attention for a potential honey crop is concentrated on
the Channel Country. Reports indicate in some areas Yapunyah
is flowering but not yielding nectar at present (Not all areas
are well budded). Gidgee has flowered with poor pollen yield.
Ground cover is excellent as a result of heavy rainfall in most
areas. The general mood is that Yapunyah will not yield a substantial
crop until late July early August, this time lapse will obviously
reduce overall production. The main effort of beekeepers will
be to maintain colony strength with supplementary feeding where
Access continues to be of major concern due to flooding and
boggy conditions. As the area dries out more and more hives
will be shifted to this flow.
Queensland continues to experience a below average season,
prospects for the coming season are not forecast to be any better
than average up until January. There is some budding on Grey
Ironbark and Spotted Gum. Blue Gum is well budded in patches,
in the South East with some trees flowering in May which is
far to early.
Following such a poor production season there is very little
honey being held by Queensland beekeepers.