The 2020 almond pollination season is not far away. The Agriculture Victoria apiary team reminds beekeepers planning to provide pollination services that it is vital to adequately prepare hives so that they are healthy and strong to work in the orchards.
Almond pollination season provides a great financial opportunity for beekeepers, but large numbers of hives moving into one area can create an increased biosecurity risk. The Code has been designed to provide a clear framework for all beekeepers to engage in biosecurity best-practice to help mitigate the risk.
If everyone complies with the Code, the risk of disease spread is reduced and the whole beekeeping industry benefits.
It is important to note that most of the Code is now law in Victoria.
Agriculture Victoria undertakes disease surveillance and compliance monitoring activities aimed at reducing the biosecurity risk associated with almond pollination.
Prior to hives arriving at almond orchards, we carry out a desktop audit of beekeepers attending almond pollination to gauge compliance levels and identify those who may pose a higher risk to others. During pollination, we conduct physical hive inspections aimed at detecting and containing any disease present.
Pre-season desktop audits have started. We are also increasing our communications to help ensure that all beekeepers are aware of their responsibilities and have all the information they need to comply with the Code.
We recognise that an adequate supply of strong and disease-free hives it is vital to the success of both beekeeping and almond producing businesses. Agriculture Victoria is working with the industry to mitigate the biosecurity risk posed by high densities of hives at almond pollination.
For more information about attending almond pollination, the Code, or beekeeping in general, email your questions to [email protected]
The Victorian Government understands the critical importance of the agriculture and food sector and will ensure our farms and agribusinesses keep operating – to keep the supermarket shelves stocked and food on Victorians’ tables. The situation continues to change rapidly and we urge you to regularly check the Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest information.
Frequently asked questions for agricultural businesses and contractors are available here.
Acknowledgement: This media release was supplied by the Agriculture Victoria apiary team.