Improving Biosecurity Resources and Better Understanding Bee Health in Australia

Plant Health Australia Limited

  • Project code: PRJ-010226

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, April 15, 2016

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, July 30, 2019

  • National Priority: HBE-Improve understanding of nutrition best practice and disease interaction


This project is based on improving biosecurity resources for the honey bee industry in relation to the Biosecurity Code of Practice (CoP) and National Bee Biosecurity Program, as well as better understanding bee health in Australia.
In an effort to increase uptake and compliance of the CoP, PHA will review and re-design elements of the BeeAware website to include a new page specifically for the Code and Program. This will include compiling existing resources, as well as developing new resources for each section of the CoP which would greatly help facilitate uptake and provide an easy and accessible source of information to anyone that wanted further information.
The CoP also specifically mentions the importance of regular biosecurity training to improve. During consultation with industry, the development of free and online training was strongly supported by all sectors of the industry. PHA are proposing to develop a comprehensive, free and online biosecurity training module on honey bee biosecurity in consultation with an industry working group. Links to this course will be provided through the BeeAware website.
The final 3-years of this project will work closely with industry to develop and pilot an annual survey of beekeepers, which could be reported yearly through BeeAware, including interactive mapping of results and annual reports. The simple and easy online based survey will focus on issues such as pests and diseases, pollination and chemicals. This will be based on the ABARES survey, and build in components from overseas surveys, such as COLOSS, CAPA and BeeInformed.


Honey Bee

Research Organisation

Plant Health Australia Limited

Objective Summary

Biosecurity Training Course
This 35-45 min online training course will be developed in consultation with industry and technical specialists, and will promote greater understanding of biosecurity best management practices as detailed in the CoP. It will be based on a large selection of questions which will ensure that questions delivered to each user will be randomised.
This will allow for greater understanding of established pests and diseases, as well as help beekeepers prepare for exotics. The online training course could easily be updated in the future to include new components, such as a Varroa section if it were to establish. This will be a valuable free resource for all beekeepers (commercial, hobby, part timers or employees of beekeeping businesses).
BeeAware updates
This new section of the website will include all of the relevant inform related to every section of the CoP and Biosecurity Program ensuring successful adoption with all sectors of the industry. This will include compiling existing information and developing new fact sheets. This provides an easy mechanism for industry to know more about the CoP requirements.
Beekeeper annual survey
This annual survey will provide an effective annual snapshot of bee health of each sector of the Australian honey bee industry, providing valuable data on colony losses, impact of pests and diseases etc. This will not only help guide industry and government policy and investment,