National Bee Pest Surveillance Program activities

November 27, 2017

The National Bee Pest Surveillance Program is administered by Plant Health Australia and uses sentinel hives, swarm and nest capture, catchboxes, and floral sweep netting in and around ports along Australia’s coast as early warning systems for incursions of exotic bees and pests of bees.

PHA’s project officer Dr Jenny Shanks recently visited a number of the sites that are part of the Program. Between 16 October and 9 November, Jenny met with Commonwealth Operational Science Services at Tullamarine Airport to discuss swarm capture and the risks at sea and airports with cargo and trade, and visited AgVic Apiary Officers at ports in Melbourne and Geelong to inspect the sentinel hives and catch boxes. She also learnt how to do ’bee-lining’ (following bees back to their nest) with AgVic Apiary Officers and the Bee Biosecurity Officer for Victoria, Jessica Hartland. Jenny also met with the Beekeepers Association of the ACT to get an update on the program for the Canberra region.

These visits and activities allow contact with state-based apiary biosecurity officers and volunteer beekeepers who are familiar with the port environment and conditions, the location of hives, and have experience with handling honey bees.

The visits are also a chance for apiary officers to provide feedback and informal progress reports on their work to PHA, and to strengthen the relationships between people working in the program.

More information about the program