Honey bees are excellent pollinators of many crops, but the burden placed on honey bee health by current pests and diseases, is heavy. Furthermore, the looming threat of a Varroa mite incursion, makes our reliance on honey bees for pollination decidedly risky.
In this context, The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, at Western Sydney University is heading up the project Stingless Bees as Effective Managed Pollinators for Australian Horticulture.
The overall objective of the project is to investigate and develop potential alternative, native insect pollinators, for utilisation in horticultural crops. The leading candidates are stingless bees, because they can be managed in hives, just as honey bees are, and moved into crops as required.
There are many parts to this project, and one of them is the collection and review of data on the Australian stingless bee industry, with a particular focus on the current and potential use of stingless bees as managed pollinators.
This survey will enable researchers to better understand the current state of the stingless bee pollination service industry. Apart from basic information such as species and colony numbers, the survey also asks important questions, such as how we can best support stingless bee keepers, and what are the greatest challenges for their industry. We would greatly appreciate your help in developing an improved understanding of the current state of stingless bee keeping in Australia:
If you are a stingless bee keeper, please click on the link to complete the survey.
If you know any stingless bee keepers, please share this information with them.
This survey is completely confidential. Data obtained will be used for research purposes only.
If you have any questions, please email me.