MEDIA RELEASE - World Bee Day: Time for another sweetener but not just a sugar hit

NSW Labor has urged the Berejiklian Barilaro Government to provide urgent relief to beekeepers ahead of World Bee day on May 20. Apiarists across the state have been severely impacted by the devastating summer 2019/20 bushfires that destroyed thousands of hives housing many millions of bees. Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Jenny Aitchison travelled thousands of kilometres across the state earlier this year prior to the COVID19 pandemic and spoke to many apiarists about the devastating impacts on the industry and saw the damage first-hand. Beekeepers have raised uncertainty about ongoing waivers of fees for using public land for their hives and heavy vehicle fees required to service them, the need for more sugar to keep their hives in production and an audit of public lands available for bee keepers, as well as more research to help the sustainability of Australia’s bee population. “The industry has really been hit hard by three years of ongoing drought, and over 7 months of bushfires around the state.” “Apiarists across the state are concerned that the trees their bees need simply won’t recover in time. It could take between five and 20 years for some flowering gums to recover enough to produce enough nectar and pollen to feed the bees.” “Apiarists are looking for alternative sites and have approached the State and Federal Governments to seek access to unburnt national parks and state conservation areas to feed and strengthen bees for the task of pollination.”

“NSW apiarists were given short-term food source of sugar supplements for the bees in the fire-affected areas earlier this year, but they need ongoing support from the Government to ensure not only the bees future, but the sustainability of the many other primary producers in horticulture who are reliant on bee pollination.” “NSW is the largest honey producing state in Australia.” “With World Bee Day later this week, it is the perfect time for the Berejiklian Barilaro Government to produce a recovery plan that details how they will help the industry recover both in the short term and long term.” The industry has been crying out for assistance, and it is past time that the Government listened to them.