A privilege and honour
Dr Doug Somerville chaired the Honey Bee & Pollination Program Advisory Panel from November 2017 to April 2021.
Annelies highlighted Doug’s extensive expertise and industry insights in commercial beekeeping, research and extension, and acknowledged some of his notable achievements.
“During Doug’s term as Chair, he spearheaded the development and implementation of the Strategic RD&E Plan and supported the development, and implementation of the Bushfire Recovery Plan. These are just a couple of important achievements among many others,” said Annelies.
“Doug has outstanding relationship management and negotiation skills. His ability to advocate for the Program and his skills as Chair will be sorely missed.”
Doug described his role as Chair as “a privilege and honour”. He thanked each Advisory Panel member for their valuable contributions to deliver outcomes for Australian beekeepers.
“It is an exciting time to be in the honey bee industry with advances in technology having the potential to revolutionise the way we do business,” said Doug.
“Our understanding of honey bee nutrition, and judicious application of supplementary feedstuffs, to overcome nature’s shortfalls, will bring us in line with other intensive livestock industries.”
He also anticipates the strong growth in demand for honey bees as pollinators will underpin the resilience of beekeeping businesses into the future.
Opening doors – personally and professionally
Danny, former Deputy Chair of the Advisory Panel, and South Australian based beekeeper became a Director of the AgriFutures Australia Board in late 2020 and subsequently stepped down from the Advisory Panel.
Annelies acknowledged Danny’s innovative perspective on industry issues and research and wished him well in his new position.
“Danny really provided blue-sky thinking and for that we are incredibly grateful,” she said.
According to Danny his position on the Advisory Panel was his way of “giving back to the industry” and the experience had opened many personal and professional doors.
“During my tenure I have grown as a person and have gained valuable skills in negotiation, teamwork, critical analysis and strategic planning just to name a few.”
“Participating in all the opportunities the Advisory Panel and AgriFutures Australia have presented me with, has been instrumental to my personal and professional development. The personal connections I have made, not just within my industry but with other levied industries, has been invaluable.”
He rates the Program’s work exploring valued added honey products, including discovering Australian active honey and other benefits such as honey’s prebiotic potential, as a key achievement.
“I leave the Advisory Panel after initiating many exciting and transformational research projects for the industry.”