Poor Queen Viability due to Inbreeding?

Author: Des Cannon

In the March 2017 Issue of The ABK (p. 391) I answered a question put to me about lack of eggs and larvae in a hive, and I discussed queens and the possible need to replace a queen. A subsequent discussion on this topic with a commercial beekeeper raised an issue that I had not taken into account – the fact that the lack of eggs and larvae, even in the presence of an apparently healthy queen, could also be due to the queen having a high level of inbreeding in her genetic makeup. This could be the result of poor genetic diversity, or it could be due to the way in which the queen (or the queen breeder that was used to produce the queen) was herself produced.

Neonicotinoids in Australia - Part 2

Honey bee populations in Australia are in crisis. The numbers of bees under the care of commercial honey producers are at an all time low. Commercial beekeepers wintering losses of thirty per cent are now accepted as the norm, according to Des Cannon, Editor of The ABK. Bee diseases have never been more prevalent in Australia. Every commercial beekeeper is battling disease and this battle is a full time job. A battle fought by beekeepers alone at the expense of their own time and money.


Book Review - The Australian Native Bee Book by Tim Heard

Author: Des Cannon

It is a little unfortunate that the Foreword (by Tim Low) for this book contains the following in its last paragraph – ‘Many Australians entertain romantic notions about European honey bees …. This romance hinders awareness of the environmental harms they cause.’ – as this immediately colours one’s approach to the book. The ‘environmentalist’ approach to European honey bees as being harmful to the Australian environment has never been unequivocally established, despite many attempts to do so....

Apimondia Pollination & Food Security: Plenary Session: Win-win Scenarios Between Pollinator Diversity and Crop Yield

Author: Jodie Goldsworthy

“Closing the gaps in crop yield, while enhancing sustainability, is among the greatest challenges for achieving food security. Ecological intensification, the improvement of crop yield through ecosystem services provided by biodiversity, may be a sustainable pathway. However, data supporting such an approach is missing, especially for two billion small-holders, many of which are undernourished. Despite fruit or seed set of many crops relying on pollinators, management for improved pollination...

A Package of Minor Changes to Langstroth Hives, for Major Benefits

Author: John Tadman

As a follow-up to my previous contributions to The ABK, each of which concentrated on one aspect of bee management or hive design, I would like to present an integrated package of small modifications that should lead to big improvements in hive health. The overall aim is to incorporate features for Small Hive Beetle (SHB) control, mite control (if and when they arrive in Australia), adequate bottom ventilation, and insulated, non-ventilated lids with the same external dimensions as migratory...

The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (NBPSP)

Author: Des Cannon (compiled from notes provided by Plant Health Australia)

With the Australian beekeeping industry having voted last year to increase the honey levy from 2.3c/kg to 4.6c/kg (applied to producers selling over 1500kg per year), the increase takes effect on 1st July this year. The increase was approved so that the funding would be secured for the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program (NBPSP) and National Bee Biosecurity Program The Program is jointly funded by the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC), Horticulture Australia Ltd (HAL), Rural...

Beekeeping and Honey Promotion on Tasmania - Impressions

Author: Des and Jenan Cannon

Tasmania is the only place we have been to in Australia where honey is marketed in the same way as it is in New Zealand. WA comes close, but still has a major packer who absorbs the bulk of commercial production. In New Zealand and Tasmania, every beekeeper is also a producer/packer, and they all market their honey with flair. Tasmania thrives on tourism. Tourists means tourist shops – boutique shops where honey is sold at higher prices than on the ‘big island’. Everyone knows that ‘it’s all...

The Anderson Flow™ Hive

Author: Des Cannon

For the first time in history honey can be extracted directly from a beehive without opening the hive and with minimal disturbance of the bees using a radical new honeycomb frame design. A father/son inventing team, Stuart and Cedar Anderson from Northern NSW have developed the innovative "Flow™” hive and have been successfully field testing it for three years. They have given prototypes out to a number of amateur and professional beekeepers in Australia and overseas who have also proved that...

Borage and Bees for Strawberry Pollination - An Informal Experiment

Author: John Tadman

Many decades ago, we students at the Australian Forestry School were advised that the greatest leaps forward in forest management, AND the greatest failures, were brought about by experienced foresters acting on incomplete scientific data plus logical reasoning and intuition. However, the greatest progress long-term was due to diligent researchers conducting well designed and controlled experiments, using statistical analyses to draw valid conclusions. I’m sure the same applies to apiculture....

Beekeeping in the Kingdom of Tonga on the Island of Vava'u

Author: Bruce White OAM (Retired Technical Specialist Apiculture NSWDPI) and Dr Lamorna Osborne (NSW Apiarist's Association Executive)

The Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific is the very first country in the world to see the dawn of every new day. Named the Friendly Island by Captain Cook in 1773, the Kingdom of Tonga is made up of 176 islands, of which 40 are inhabited. The Polynesians arrived 3,500 years ago. Tonga is the world's only remaining Polynesian Monarchy and the only South Pacific country to never be invaded by a foreign power. Tongan's are humble, down-to-earth people, who deeply respect traditions and culture and...