Thank you for bee-ing so inspiring: AgriFutures Australia farewells long serving Advisory Panel members


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A honeybee approaching a peach blossom

AgriFutures Australia would like to thank Ecologist Professor Saul Cunningham and commercial beekeeper, James Kershaw for their contribution to the industry and their determination to see improved research outcomes for commercial beekeepers. Professor Cunningham and Mr Kershaw retired from their positions on the Honey Bee & Pollination Advisory Panel in June 2020 following a decade and seven years, respectively, of service.

Dr Doug Somerville, chair of the AgriFutures Australia Honey Bee & Pollination Advisory Panel, said both Professor Cunningham and James Kershaw brought their experience and knowledge to ensure research and development (R&D) investment aligned with the Program’s RD&E Plan and the industry’s priorities.

“Saul has brought significant knowledge of native pollinators and pollination in general and scientific rigour to every discussion,” said Dr Somerville.

“James extensive commercial bee keeping experience and his multi-generational approach has provided the Advisory Panel with a clear industry perspective.”

Professor Cunningham, who is the Director of the Fenner School of Environment & Society at the Australian National University, drew on his research expertise in making recommendations and he has enjoyed connecting with the diverse range of experts that have provided research for Agrifutures Australia over that time.




“This diversity has meant I’ve heard from university researchers to chemists as well as beekeepers which has given me an understanding of the challenges faced by beekeepers, which you don’t always read in a book,” said Professor Cunningham.

Fifth generation commercial beekeeper, James Kershaw described his role on the Advisory Panel as one of the best things he has ever done.

“Being on the Advisory Panel gave me some real insights into the broader aspects of the industry and I am most proud of the research projects we invested into small hive beetles and queen pheromones”, said Mr Kershaw.

Dr Somerville extended his gratitude for the contributions that both these men have given over a decade of honey bee and pollination research, development and extension.

Joining him in paying tribute, AgriFutures Australia Manager, Research Annelies McGaw said Professor Cunningham and Mr Kershaw had made significant contributions over a long period of time.

“I would like to thank Professor Cunningham and Mr Kershaw for their outstanding service,” said Ms McGaw.

Ms McGaw also welcomed two new members, research scientist, Dr Rob Manning and commercial apiarist, Neil Bingley to the Advisory Panel.

“We’re pleased to have Dr Manning and Mr Bingley join the panel. Dr Manning has a 27-year long career in honey bee research and highly regarded apiarist Neil Bingley.”

“I look forward to working with Dr Manning and Mr Bingley and introducing them both to the AgriFutures Australia family shortly,” said Ms McGaw.

To learn more about the Honey Bee Advisory Panel and the Program

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