May each year is set aside as Honey Month – a month long celebration of honey.
Australian beekeepers produce many great varieties of honey yet what is often not recognized is the vital role that the humble honey bee plays in the food security for Australia. While many know how good honey tastes and how good it is for you, the vital link between honey bees, the production of the foods we eat every day and food security if often not understood. It is estimated that one in three mouthfuls of food we eat relies on the honey bee for pollination of that food.
Food Security needs Bee Security
Queensland Beekeepers Association and many of its members have celebrated Honey Month events over these past years with public displays in libraries and shopping centers, provided talks to many organizations and been involved in school activities and learning modules. One week long interactive display at the Qld Parliamentary Annexe highlighted and raised awareness of the humble, yet important honey bee to Parliamentarians, media personnel and guests.
World Bee Day
May 20th each year celebrates World Bee Day
On this day, world wide, there are celebrations to raise awareness of the significance and value of of bees and other pollinators and to unite in encouraging improved conditions for bees to build pollination security and to safeguard our food security.
Raise awareness and join a celebration on World Bee Day in May
QBA Annual Conference
Conference was held June 23rd and 24th at RSL Warwick. Over the two days there were informative and interesting presentations on many topics.
A well attended and interesting Field Day was held at Wheatvale the following day, Saturday 25th June, organized by members of the Warwick Branch of QBA. There was something for everyone on the day – including beekeeping equipment, bobcats, Ironman Challenge, craft, delicious food and of utmost importance this year, demonstrations on how to do sugar shakes for varroa detection. Mark Furner, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities also attended the day.
Conference was held June 3rd and 4th at Mantra Sharks, Southport where information on many beekeeping topics was heard and shared.
The following day (Saturday 5th June) a successful Open Day (Field Day) was held at the Beenleigh State High School . The Brisbane Branch of QBA organized the day with Speakers, Q & A panels and 22 Displays including local bee clubs, State and National Beekeeping Associations and Trade Sales.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, essential business only was covered via internet communication with QBA Members.
Conference held on 30 to 31 May at Bribie Island
Field Day held on 1st June.
A one day, Members only Conference held on 27 June at the Gold Coast (while at the 3rd Australian Bee Congress 27 – 30 June).
Trade Show – 27 to 30 June with 70 providers of beekeeping products and services from Australia and the world during these 4 days of Congress.
Conference held on 29 to 30 June at Gympie
Field Day held on 1st July
Conference held on 13 to 14 July in Townsville
Field Day trip on 16th July
QBA Honey Court
at the Ekka (Brisbane Royal Show) in August
Beekeepers in Queensland have been a part of the Brisbane Exhibition (Ekka) since their first display in 1875 and since 1906 the Queensland Beekeepers’ Association has been giving live bee demonstrations and remain an integral part of the Ekka as a centre for education with displays of bees, honey and bee products.
Honey Court – When visiting the Agriculture Hall at the Ekka, come and visit the Honey Court. Meet a beekeeper and be fascinated by what a beekeeper does, hear how bees make honey and the importance of bees in pollinating the plants that produce the food we eat and enjoy every day. Throughout each day, there are educational activities including the opening of a bee hive and extracting honey to show and explain the mysteries of the honey bee and the keeping of bees as a hobby or commercial enterprise. The sale of honey and bee products, including beeswax and Honey Mead are also available.
Apiculture Competition – The annual Apicultural Competition brings together an impressive display of honeys (from many different floral sources and geographical locations), pollen, beeswax and Honey Mead and all entries are displayed alongside the Honey Court.
2021 – Due to a snap Covid-19 lock-down, this year’s planned 9-day Ekka was cancelled one week prior to opening. This cancellation was only the fourth time in its 145 year history –
* 1919 due to the Spanish Flu epidemic
* 1942 due to grounds being used as a WW2 Staging Depot
* 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic
The annual Apriculture Competition was judged prior to this lock-down and cancellation. To all exhibitors who entered, thank you for your effort and time to be part of this year’s competition and congratulations to all who won awards.
To view the awards in each category of this competition, visit the 2021 Apiculture Competition Results on the RNA Website.
September biennial event
Every second year beekeepers from around the world meet together for Apimondia, the world beekeeping Congress.
2019 Apimondia was held in September in Montreal, Quebec, Canada where 5,500 participants attended, 320 scientific and general beekeeping lectures were presented as well an an extensive ApiExpo where beekeeping manufacturers, scientific companies and researchers showcased the latest and best in all things beekeeping from around the world. A number of QBA members and other Australian beekeepers attend each Apimondia and 2019 was no exception.
Apimondia 2021 has been postponed due to Covid-19 global pandemic. It is now rescheduled for 24 – 28 August 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. See current information on the Apimondia website.
Australian Pollinator Week
13-21 November 2021
A time to celebrate together to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and supporting their needs.
Australian Pollinator Week acknowledges our unique insect pollinators and raises awareness of the importance of pollinators and support their needs.
Visit the Australian Pollinator Week website for more information.
Visit the Australian Museum website to read about “What is Pollination?”
National Ag Day
Friday 19 November 2021
National Ag Day is a day dedicated to Australian agriculture and the people behind it, Australian farmers.
Celebrate Australia’s beekeepers and their many workers, who may be small in number but have a HUGE impact in the production and security of our food supply.
Some 2/3 of all the food we eat first requires honey bees to pollinate the plant’s flowers to allow the fruit, vegetable, seed or nut to grow. Honey bees also contribute to the meat we eat with some livestock feed crops dependent on pollination.
In November (and every day) celebrate Australia’s beekeepers for the work they do in not only bringing you honey for your toast and pancakes but also securing the production of much of the food we all enjoy every day. Beekeepers use their skill and knowledge of honey bees and the pollination needs of individual food crops and spend large amounts of time transporting their hives to these pollination dependent plants to assist other farmers in their work of growing food for our nation.
BEEKEEPERS are SMALL in number but have a HUGE IMPACT in our everyday lives and the everyday food we eat.
CELEBRATE the humble HONEY BEE and the BEEKEEPERS who care for them.
Learn more about “The extraordinary honey bee and its impact on the food we eat”
in the AgriFutures publication of October 2020
To view a collection of Honey Bee Articles visit the Primary Industries Education Foundation’s web portal, Primezone.
These are aligned to the Australian National School Curriculum with teacher resources from Kindergarten to Year 12.