Funding for Australian-first queen bee program

Published: 12 Feb 2018

A genetic improvement program has received $1.3 million from the NSW Government to breed queen bees with superior honey production, disease resistance and pollination performance.

The program will ensure the sustainability of pollination services across horticulture and cropping.

As part of the program, a new research apiary will be based at Tocal Agricultural College. The apiary will have 250 hives, a honey extraction plant and facilities for the instrumental insemination of bees.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said genetic gains in honey production are estimated to be worth up to $41 million over the next 25 years.

“Currently there is no significant genetic improvement of managed honey bees in Australia and anecdotal evidence suggests the quality of breeder queens is declining,” Mr Blair said.

“Our researchers will now begin to evaluate the suitability of Australian and overseas honey bee populations for a range of production and health-related traits and use these results to produce superior queen bees for commercial breeders.”

Learn more about the NSW beekeeping industry

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