io-security is by far the number one priority for all beekeepers - be you single 'home-hive' enthusiasts or a 'too many hives to count in a night' commercial operator...
The Australian Honey Bee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice (the Code) has been developed in consultation with beekeepers and governments to provide a clear framework for Australian beekeepers to engage in best-practice biosecurity - it was released in July 2016 as the first document Nationally Endorsed by Industry and it applies equally from hobbyist to commercial company. And, like many problems across primary industry, its is often the hobby-farmers that don't quite get it right... To ensure that all WAAS members are up to speed with the requirements we will be covering the key elements over the next few issues of Smoke Signal - for the full document please click HERE
or refer to the "Useful Links' section of the newsletter...
So let's start at the beginning:
The Principles of Good Biosecurity: The Code has been developed to incorporate fundamental biosecurity principles into the practices of all Australian beekeepers. In the context of beekeeping, “biosecurity” can be defined as “a set of preventive measures designed to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of pests or diseases in bees” and the principles of good beekeeping biosecurity describe the actions a beekeeper should take to minimise the impact of pests and diseases on their bees and the bees of other beekeepers.
Training and planning: Beekeepers and their employees must be appropriately trained in disease and pest prevention, identification and control. Because our understanding of bee pests and diseases and the tools we have available to manage them are continually evolving, regular refreshing of training, even for experienced beekeepers, is important to keep knowledge up to date. Beekeepers should plan ahead – know in advance how they will respond to a disease or pest detection. All beekeepers should have a written biosecurity plan that is regularly updated as their situation changes.
The requirements of these two sections can be easily met: throughout the year WAAS runs a program of 'Introduction to Responsible Beekeeping' workshops designed to introduce new beekeepers to the fundamentals of beekeeping including health and safety, biosecurity, hive management and much more - details of these and the continuing education workshops are included in the 'Upcoming Events' section of Smoke Signals and posted to the Events section of the website... Appropriate training just makes good sense.
Next issue - Registration, Inspection, Notifiable disease