The Australian honey bee industry is a significant contributor to the economy, not only in terms of honey production but as provider of pollination services for agriculture and horticulture including the almond industry. It’s estimated the annual total contribution of the humble honey bee to the Australian economy is $14.2 billion.
The industry has changed significantly since 1962 when commercial beekeepers began contributing to an industry levy. There has been a 10-fold increase in recreational beekeeping and a 36% decline in the number of commercial beekeepers. Despite this, the average number of hives managed by a commercial beekeeper has increased from 156 in 1962 to 299 hives in 2018.