Honey traced from the hive to the jar will be part of a sweet display at the Murray Street Mall in the Perth CBD this Friday (20 May) to celebrate World Bee Day.
Visitors can get the buzz on research efforts to foster and protect the Australian honey bee industry while viewing a range of bee-friendly plants and a safely-enclosed bee hive.
Experts from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Honey Bee Products, The University of Western Australia and Bee Industry Council of WA will be on hand to speak with visitors.
DPIRD principal agribusiness development consultant Gerard Leddin said World Bee Day aimed to raise awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping.
“WA has a thriving bee industry with approximately 4400 beekeepers - commercial and hobbyist - who own more than 53,000 hives,” he said.
“Our local honey bee industry is notable for its high quality produce and freedom from pests and diseases.”
Visitors can learn more about research to support the safety and integrity of honey products, including leaps in traceability.
CRC for Honey Bee Products chief executive officer Liz Barbour said WA researchers had developed a test for nectar ‘signatures’ in honey.
“Traceability of honey products from the hive site to the jar can now be done, and all our WA monofloral honey nectars within the honey can be identified and confirmed with a simple test,” Dr Barbour said.
“This testing can also look at the sugars to check the honey is pure from the honeybees and whether the honey is raw, or in other words has not been heat treated and still has the pollen in the honey.
“When you look at honey production on a global scale, WA’s monoflorals are very rare. This is why we are working towards making affordable testing available for beekeepers to help provide evidence around the purity and source of their honey.”
Visitors can also learn more about other research milestones, including a sensor to improve monitoring of the bacterial disease American foulbrood, which is one of the few bee diseases present in WA and occurs world-wide.
An update on a bee flora management decision tool to assist beekeepers in managing their hive locations will also be available.
There will also be information on the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program, which operates sentinel hives around WA to detect new incursions of bees from overseas, which could introduce potentially devastating pests and diseases.
The display will run near the Kiosk site in the Murray Street Mall from 8am to 3pm, Friday 20 May.
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3137/3937