Beekeeping and Honey Production in Australia

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The Australian honeybee industry consists of approximately 30,000 registered beekeepers who own a total of around 670,000 hives which produce between 20,000 and 30,000 tonnes of honey annually[1].

In 2018/19 the industry had an overall estimated gross value of production (GVP)[2] of AUD 147 million. Of that around 85% of revenue is from honey sales, with the balance from other honey products[3]. These products include paid pollination services, beeswax production, queen bee and packaged bee sales, pollen, bee venom, royal jelly, and propolis.

The relatively small honeybee GVP understates  the industry’s value to agriculture and the economy through pollination services, as honeybees provide valuable pollination services to many agricultural and horticultural industries. As honeybees forage for nectar and pollen their activities pollinate plants, resulting in increased seed or fruit set, improved storage qualities and shape of some fruits and melons, and more even maturation of some crops. It has been estimated that pollination services from honeybees contribute AUD4-6 billion annually to the Australian economy.

As far as exports are concerned in 2018-19 Australia ranked 17th in the world for Natural Honey exports, with an increase of nearly 15% in exports on the previous year[4]. A large amount of honey produced in Australia is exported to many countries in both bulk and retail shipments. Honey bee products are also exported.

One of the main reasons that Australian Honey is in demand is that the nation is free from exotic pests such as Varroa mites[5], Tropilaelaps[6] or Tracheal mites[7], which are a constant threat [8]. These pests are devastating to the industry in many other countries around the world, but Australia is free from such pests. The honeybee industry, which includes all of the state-based beekeeping associations, has developed the Australian Honeybee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice[9]. The Code includes basic biosecurity practices that should be used by all beekeepers in Australia. These actions help to minimise the impact of pests and diseases on their own hives and those of other beekeepers[10]. There is constant monitoring at the ports and airports to stop these diseases from entering the country.

Because of the low incidence of diseases in Australia, there is greater demand for Australian Honey.

Australian honey varieties are recognised for their high quality and unique flavours, attributed from the bee’s feasting on a wide range of wild nectars. Well known Australian varieties include yellow box, grey box, river red gum, stringy-bark and red box[11]

Organisations and associations in Australia that support the beekeeping industry include the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) [12] and the Australian Manuka Honey Association [13]

On B2WEB business directory, you can find a list of Beekeeping and Honey Production businesses in Australia. In addition, you can find another industry list of beekeeping and honey production in New Zealand.

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