Plan Bee racks up the miles as it meets with queen breeders across Australia

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Key researchers have been on the road to meet beekeepers and queen breeders across the country including Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia.

Earlier in the year, researchers Erica Mo (University of Sydney) and Emily Noordyke (New South Wales DPI) headed to Brisbane to meet with a key breeder.

The purpose of the visit was to collect important colony trait data and genetic samples for Plan Bee’s national database and also to knowledge-share on how hygienic testing can be used in broader selection.

Emily Noordyke said Plan Bee visits are all about collaboration.

“Typically, when we visit breeders, we are helping educate industry about best practice genetic selection techniques, but engagement with industry is also about trying to understand the ways the industry is already recording data on its bees and determine how we could leverage these methods more broadly,” said Emily.

Plan Bee heads to Kangaroo Island.

Following more breeder visits across New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, the Plan Bee mission next headed to South Australia where it hosted a workshop for beekeepers who wanted to learn more about genetic selection and queen breeding.

The workshop was hosted on Kangaroo Island, home to a unique set of breeding conditions which could lead to the island becoming a key bee breeding destination. The objective of the workshop was to educate the island’s beekeepers on the benefits that formal genetic improvement can have on the stock of the island.

“Our workshop was aimed at beekeepers who were just beginning their journey with raising queens and genetic selection and it was compelling to see the island’s community take steps into modern breeding practices,” said Emily.

“We’re happy to be playing a role in furthering genetic improvement on the island.”

For beekeepers looking to learn more about Plan Bee and how they can benefit, the project team would love to hear from you.

“Whether you are an experienced breeder who wants to support the establishment of a national database that will enhance your selection process, or a honey producer curious about what genetic selection means, we want to hear from you. The more engagement we have from industry the better our program becomes, and we are on hand to support with information and knowledge sharing as well as to undertake sampling on your colonies,” Emily concluded.

For more information on Plan Bee, or to enquire about colony trait evaluations and genetic sampling, please get in touch with Emily Noordyke – Emily.noordyke@dpi.nsw.gov.au

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