BEEKEEPERS will drive their trucks and machinery to Canberra next week to plead with the Federal Government to help them keep out the Asian bee.
Among them will be Corindi’s Les Roby, who fears that not just his livelihood but also that of thousands of other farmers will be destroyed by the fast-breeding bees, which rob honey hives, render European honeybees infertile and take over nesting hollows used by other animals.
He says the issue is so serious that it could mean a future with less food grown in Australia if the Asian bee is not eradicated.
Many crops, including blueberries, are dependent on pollination by European honeybees, and the value of pollination services to Australian agriculture is many times the direct value of the honey that Australian beekeepers produce.
Beekeepers and quarantine workers have been fighting to eradicate an outbreak of the feral bees in Cairns.
Federal funding runs out on March 31 and the government is contemplating declaring the bees endemic and giving up the fight to contain and eradicate them.
Beekeepers now want public support. Visit www.securefoodsavebees.com and click on the link to sign the petition.