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Australia Bee almond tree pollination avoids stings at border checks to save Victoria's crop

00:20  02 august  2020
00:20  02 august  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Bee almond tree pollination avoids stings at border checks to save Victoria's crop

  Bee almond tree pollination avoids stings at border checks to save Victoria's crop Australia's largest annual mass migration of livestock is underway in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to reduce the risk of people getting stung, the bulk of the work is happening at night when most of us are sleeping. In a record-breaking year, an estimated 227,000 beehives or more than 9 billion bees are being trucked in for the critical job of pollinating Victoria's billion-dollar almond crop.It has taken months of work behind the scenes to ensure apiarists can safely and efficiently cross the COVID-19 checkpoints on the borders.Without them, the nuts would not set on trees and crops would fail.

The annual almond tree flower pollination season helps bees recover from the impacts of the drought. The recent almond tree flower pollination program revealed that about 10 per cent of bees had impacted by While the word drought conjures images of cattle skulls and withered crops , few

Osmia lignaria, the blue orchard bee - BOB for short - is a solitary mason bee that lives in tunnels or cavities. Researchers on the Integrated Crop

a group of people standing next to a truck: Beeekeeper Rex Carruthers heading off from Queensland to Victoria's almond orchards. (Supplied:Naomi Carruthers) © Provided by ABC Health Beeekeeper Rex Carruthers heading off from Queensland to Victoria's almond orchards. (Supplied:Naomi Carruthers)

Australia's largest mass migration of livestock — in the form of bees — is underway in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to reduce the risk of people getting stung, the bulk of the work is happening at night when most of us are sleeping.

In a record-breaking year, an estimated 227,000 beehives or more than 9 billion bees are being trucked in for the critical job of pollinating Victoria's billion-dollar almond crop.

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Fortunately, most bee stings are entirely avoidable . Bees , wasps, and hornets sting primarily to defend themselves, so the key to avoiding bee stings Wasps love empty soda and beer bottles and will check out any food waste in your garbage, too. Don't let food residue build up in your garbage cans.

Webinar Series: Ensuring Crop Pollination in US Specialty Crops . Presented by: Theresa Pitts-Singer, Utah State University for the ICP 2017 Bee Health Webinar Series: Ensuring Crop Pollination in Bees for Almond Pollination - Продолжительность: 9:37 Project Integrated Crop Pollination

It has taken months of work behind the scenes to ensure apiarists can safely and efficiently cross the COVID-19 checkpoints on the borders.

Without them, the nuts would not set on trees and crops would fail. And yes, bees are classified as livestock by the Australian Taxation Office.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said it was vital that agricultural services such as the pollination services provided by bees were allowed to get to where they needed to go.

"The last thing we want is agitated bees at a border crossing."

Tough year

Compared to last year, double the number of Queensland's professional beekeepers have booked in for this years' almond flowering season.

Hard hit by drought and bushfires, a quarter of the state's apiarists have their incomes pinned on the success of their pollination services.

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It notes that crops dependent on pollinators generate more than US billion each year in the United States and declining bee populations raise concerns about food security in years to come. Increasing pollination and crop yield isn't as simple as bringing more honey bees to every farm, said Bobiwash.

Honey bees pollinate Honey bees pollinate one-third of our food supply. 1.2 million colonies come from outside of California. Each truck must pass through a California Border Inspection Station.

Sunshine Coast beekeeper Rex Carruthers, will be crossing into Victoria three times in the next week.

"We don't want to be leaving any loose bees behind to sting people, so to minimise that I think everyone understands that the stops (at the borders) will be fairly brief," Mr Carruthers said.

Some of his 1,450 hives have already been transported to New South Wales, to reduce travel time at the start of the six-week almond flowering period.

He praised Queensland Beekeepers Association State Secretary Jo Martin for her work in keeping apiarists updated on the requirements to get across the borders.

"The last four weeks have been very, very challenging trying to orchestrate this movement," Ms Martin said.

"With COVID we've had to look at new alternatives to how we may have done things in the past, so we're really limiting that social interaction that happens on the ground."

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Other crops , like blueberries, watermelons and almonds , were more the domain of honeybees, although the landscape may play a role here. The way that pollination impacts crop production is poorly understood, but this multi-region study allows us to hone in on the overlooked contributions of

It notes that crops dependent on pollinators generate more than US billion each year in the United States and declining bee populations raise concerns about food security in years to come. Increasing pollination and crop yield isn't as simple as bringing more honey bees to every farm, said Bobiwash.

Ms Martin said authorities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria had been working with the Almond Board of Australia to make it happen.

"What's really important to remember beekeeping is a socially distant occupation anyway.

"The trucks are going to be carting anywhere between a million and two million bees each, so it's really not something that you're going to have a lot of people interacting," Ms Martin stressed.

Rain delays

Victorian bee broker Trevor Monson has coordinated around 130,000 hives to be brought into the state's north-west, where they will be dropped off at local almond orchards.

But rain in New South Wales has prevented trucks accessing hives in paddocks.

"We started off well, then the good Lord that organises rain, put seven inches where most of our bees are — Gilgandra, Dubbo and in through to the coast," Mr Monson said.

"We're hoping that it dries out, although they're predicting another rain on Wednesday or Thursday.

"The beekeepers are fairly confident they'll overcome that problem."

We've had a few who've decided they don't want to come due to the virus [but] that's not a big number," Mr Monson said.

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Bees may be tiny, but home gardeners and farmers rely on these hardworking insects for pollination . The majority of crops around the globe rely on honeybees and wild bees for pollination , hence the growing concern for declines in both managed and wild bee populations and

BERKELEY – Pollinators such as bees , birds and bats affect 35 percent of the world' s crop production, increasing the output of 87 of The study is the first global estimate of crop production that is reliant upon animal pollination . It comes one week after a National Research Council (NRC) report

"The other issue we've got is that there have been some new biosecurity rules that had been introduced at the beginning of July.

"That's caused a few people to pull out as they haven't got around to doing the paperwork and they've received a letter saying they could be fined.

"That's probably stopped around 5,000 hives coming into Victoria."

Bees in good shape

Despite the coordination hurdles, Mr Monson said the calibre of the hives was good.

"We were initially extremely concerned about the drought and the fires, but I'm pleasantly surprised with the quality, " he said.

"In fact, some bees coming out of New South Wales are probably the best I've ever seen."

Mr Monson said the health of the insects reflected how well they were looked after.

"It's really a credit to the beekeepers learning how to manage bees in drought with supplementary feeding [of] sugar and protein," he said.

"It's cost money, but the bees look good."


Gallery: Fun, easy ways to help bees this summer (StarsInsider)

a close up of a flower: In case you haven’t heard, the bees are dying, and it’s serious business—not only for their species, but for the rest of us too. Bees are responsible for about one-third of the world’s food supply, including many beloved fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Without them, food costs would soar and the environment would suffer. Click through to see some easy and fun ways to do your part in saving the bees this summer.

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