Mar 2, 2011

Bee invasion: flying Asian ‘cane toad’ a $6 billion threat

Apiarists from around the country have descended on Canberra this week to fight the government's decision to halt its funding of the eradication of the Asian honey bee.

Tom Cowie

Crikey journalist

Apiarists from around the country have descended on Canberra this week to fight the government’s decision to halt its funding of the eradication of the Asian honey bee. Beekeepers are concerned that Apis cerana will not only destroy the bee and honey industry, but that it will also affect the food processing industry, which relies on the pollination of bees.

The campaign — “Food security needs bee security” — was sparked after the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries (DAFF) decided to wind up its $3 million program to eradicate the bee at the end of this month. DAFF officials said that the program had ended because eradication of the Asian bee wasn’t feasible.

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4 thoughts on “Bee invasion: flying Asian ‘cane toad’ a $6 billion threat

  1. Frank Campbell

    Good to see the real environment get a mention on Crikey. Rare, thanks to the climate cult monopoly.

    Giving up on this feral bee now is a big mistake.

  2. Stevo the Working Twistie

    “…it will also affect the food processing industry, which relies on the pollination of bees.” Hmmm. Probably could’ve been worded a bit better. It’s a fun image though, bees being pollinated. Hope First Dog is reading…

  3. Mick S

    How fortunate that the beekeepers are dealing with the government, particularly if relying on a CSIRO scientific report.

    Tony Abbott is reported to have stated that eradication of the Asian honey bee was “crap”, and there was no convincing scientific evidence.

    One Nation then demanded that anything from Asia be banned, prompting Tony to revert to his usual form, this time demanding “Stop the Bees”.

  4. Flower

    In 2007, the US Agriculture Department pointed the finger at Australian bees as possible carriers of the virus that they say was causing collapse of the honey bee industry in the US and Europe.

    In 2010, Australia’s bee export industry was under scrutiny by US regulators, who again were blaming cases of the mysterious bee disorder on imports from Australia.

    In November 2010, the Australian Honey Industry referred to the subject of trade with the United States which had suspended live bee imports from Australia but ‘ who were continuing to work with the Australian Government to re-open the market.’

    One hypothesis is that the bee disorder is a result of pesticides/insecticides that the bee ingests whilst pollinating which may have weakened the bees’ immune response. Of course DAFF encourages Australian farmers to use pesticides that have been banned in some sixty countries. And Monsanto et al must be enamoured with the APVMA ‘regulators,’ the Department of Deny and Delay. Hmmm….that reminds me of the millions of two-headed fish lavae that evolved after allegedly being exposed to pesticides used on a macadamia farm in Queensland.

    But hang about – the “plot” thickens:


    Indeed yes – Clothianidin is registered for use in Australia.

    So did the Asian bee eradication programme include the use of hazardous pesticides/insecticides? Yes? Which ones?

    What chance then for our Australian honey bee – humanity’s indispensable little worker?

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