Victoria Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh
Victorian Government Reinstates ‘Lost’ Bees Sites
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government has reinstated more than 90 bee licences on public land that had been lost to the industry.
Visiting a Castlemaine honey business today, Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said 92 sites had been returned to beekeepers based on a fair ballot as part of the $400,000 Putting the Buzz Back into Agriculture initiative.
“I am pleased to announce these ‘lost’ sites will return to the industry. It has been a long time Coming.” Mr. Walsh said.
“The former Labor Government shut down hundreds of beekeeping sites on public land.”
“Our $400,000 investment to reinstate these sites will help protect and grow Victoria’s valuable beekeeping sector and safeguard our horticultural industries.”
“Victoria has about 3,600 designated bee sites which are on public land. They provide an important nectar and pollen resource for honey production and condition bees for pollination of Victoria’s economically important horticultural and seed crops.”
Mr. Walsh said the 92 sites were allocated to apiarists through a ballot involving 202 beekeepers in December last year.
“This is a very positive outcome that opens up viable bee sites that were just sitting there doing nothing for such a long time.” Mr. Walsh said.
“We are delivering on our election commitment to reinstate the bee site licences on public land that were banned by the former Labor Government.”
The Putting the Buzz Back into Agriculture initiative will also fund an increase in Victoria’s capacity to quickly detect and respond to the exotic honey bee parasite, varroa mite.
Australia is the only continent in the world still free of this pest. The varroa mite has the potential to decimate the country’s honey bee population.