The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) and Cotton Australia are calling on all farmers and beekeepers to use online tools to better communicate with each other to protect bees and crops.
Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay says the BeeConnected app facilitates communication between farmers and beekeepers as a tool to ensure crop protection is conducted safely, responsibly and according to label requirements.
“Two-way communication between neighbouring primary producers is key to respecting their ability to earn a decent income from their operation,” Mr Kay says. “It is critical for all farmers, regardless of what crop they are growing, to have two-way communication with beekeepers and utilise tools like BeeConnected.”
“The BeeConnected tool enables collaboration between beekeepers, farmers, consultants and spray contractors to facilitate best practice pollinator protection. Users registered on BeeConnected are alerted when beekeeping or crop protection activities are logged within a 10 kilometre radius.”
AHBIC Executive Director Trevor Weatherhead says that rainfall in recent months has brought about a good season for many summer crops and native vegetation.
“It is particularly important for beekeepers and farmers to communicate between December and February. This is when a number of crops and natives are in full bloom and when conditions are right for insects to forage,” Mr Weatherhead says.
“It’s critical for all beekeepers, growers, consultants and spray applicators to be on BeeConnected to enable two-way communication. This is particularly important in areas where summer crops are being planted where they have not been grown before, or at least not for a few seasons.”
Farmers and beekeepers should use this checklist:
- Plan ahead: Register your farm or hives on BeeConnected to alert and communicate local farmers and beekeepers in your area.
- Log activities: Growers, consultants and spray applicators log upcoming crop protection activities.
- Communicate and cooperate: All users can then use BeeConnected’s built-in messaging service to coordinate activities or privately share any relevant information they choose to.
Capilano Honey is dedicated to safeguarding the future of Australia’s bee population and encourage all of our beekeepers and their neighbouring farmers to download the app. BeeConnected is available at no cost on iPhone, Android and desktop computers and is run by CropLife Australia in partnership with AHBIC. More information is available at www.BeeConnected.org.au