bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Monday, May 31, 2004

Victoria wants 17,000 bee hives

Almond production in NW Victoria, Australia must be on the increase. One grower, Select Harvest, wants 17,000 colonies this August and expects to need 50,000 in five years' time when the almond groves are in full production. Without pollination, almonds are likely to yield only 5% of their potential.

The Bush Users Group says that Australian pollination costs are half those of the USA, Canada and New Zealand (where prices are $A70-$A100 per hive) because the colonies can recover between stressful commercial pollination contracts with a more balanced diet foraging Australia's nectar- and pollen-rich flora. Nonetheless Victoria's almond pollination contracts are worth $A560,000 each year — and the almond crop is worth over $A30 million.


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