A hive of activity in bee research

May 13, 2019

The initial year of the CRC for Honeybee Products (CRCHBP) marks the start of the greatest concentration of research effort in the history of the honey bee sector in Australia.

CRC for Honeybee Products

The CRC for Honeybee Products is seeking to revolutionise Australia’s honey industry.

“We’re proud to be a catalyst in accelerating research and new solutions, and products are already coming to light due to our diverse academic expertise and a fast-growing and demanding industry,” says Liz Barbour, CRCHBP CEO.

Barbour believes 2018 was a watershed year for honey bees in Australia. “Land use changes and intensified fire management are challenging the reliable and diverse supply of bee food, and impacting bee health, as never before,” she says. Climate change and shifting patterns of nectar flow have also caused uncertainty in the industry.

Barbour says the industry has also suffered from misleading accusations of adulterated honey during 2018. “This caught the world’s honey industry ill-prepared, and there was no chemical analysis system able to provide a clear answer to adequately address the public’s confidence,” she says.

CRCHBP has been at the forefront in trying to establish techniques and testing policies to address this problem.

A worldwide focus on ‘saving the bee’ has attracted more people to beekeeping.

This has led CRCHBP to develop better training programs for beekeepers to help protect Australia’s envied biosecurity status.

Barbour says the global buzz around New Zealand’s Manuka honey also offers a potential boon for Australian honey.

“CRCHBP has been successfully developing the other 80 Leptospermum species throughout Australia,” she says. “Some of these species have higher levels of active antimicrobial ingredients than reported from New Zealand.”

Brendan Fitzpatrick


This article was published in KnowHow Issue 9.

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