News

News

Looking for the buzz on pollination 29 Jan 2014

Apple, cherry and blueberry growers are being urged to help protect their industries against the potential devastation of Varroa mite, by filling in a survey currently being circulated by their industry bodies. 

It’s collecting information on the importance growers place on pollination and how much they utilise both free and paid pollination services, so the industry can prepare effective management plans in case of a Varroa incursion.

TQA Australia is conducting the survey on behalf of the Pollination Program, a research effort jointly funded by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture.

Pollination R&D committee chairman, Gerald Martin, said the fight against Varroa was vital for fruit growers and better understanding pollination services would help them into the future.

“The threat of pests like Varroa is very real and we need to be prepared,” Mr Martin said. 

“The mite has devastated honey and pollination industries across the world, dramatically cutting bee populations and increasing the cost of pollination services and bee management.

“Early survey results show that growers recognise the role of bees in the success of their fruit growing with more than 50 per cent saying insect pollination is either essential or very important and the majority already using commercial pollination services.

“This is good information, but we hope more growers will complete the survey so we can remain on the front foot in this fight and ensure that Varroa won’t destroy our horticulture industries.” 

The survey is being distributed by Cherries Australia, Apple and Pear Australia Limited and the Australian Blueberry Growers Association. Growers should contact their industry organisation if they don’t already have a copy.