Develop & assess of leafcutter bee survival, mgmnt & reproduction in Sthn Aust

Lucerne Australia Inc.

  • Project code: PRJ-000030

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Sunday, July 1, 2007

  • Project completion date: Monday, January 26, 2009

  • National Priority: PSE-Supporting production systems and agronomic advancements


1/ With the recent advances of private research into leafcutter bees it has been determined that there is a need for a formal business plan. The creation of a business plan will be the cornerstone on which ALCA will base financial, capital and management developments into the future. Currently the lucerne industry is reliant on honey bees for pollination. However, leafcutter bees are much better pollinators of lucene and Australian honey bees are in jeopardy as we speak with the imminent arrival of the Varroa mite.
If leafcutters are to be successful, and reach commercialisation, funding will need to be leveraged from several different sources, including industry, private companies, research and development organisations and other stakeholders. Such funding could only be leveraged by giving a clear and concise view of the future. A business plan will demonstrate this. Coupled with a commercial viability assessment (CVA) the plan will detail exactly what the long term returns are likely to be from using leafcutter bees, and what amount of investment will be required to get them established and commercialised.
2/ The current resident population of leafcutter bees, imported as part of a previous funded RIRDC project, must be maintained if information is to be forthcoming on the management of the bees under Australian conditions. Leafcutter bees require ongoing management and the existing bees are constantly being monitored adding to the education of the personel invoved as well as aiding the refinement of the systems and protocols for management. Management of the bees is time consuming and further data collection is critical to show how the bees can be managed under field conditions.
3/ As the leafcutter population grows, so too will the infrastructure requirements. We aim to accommodate these expansions so that the expansion of bee numbers is not inhibited.


Pasture Seeds

Research Organisation

Lucerne Australia Inc.

Objective Summary

The major objectives of the project are to:
1-Construct a comprehensive business plan & commercial viability assessment (CVA)
2-Monitor & manage leafcutter bees from May 07 to June 08
3-Expand infrastructure for managing leafcutter bees.