Help shape the future of beekeeping in WA 

BICWA started to explore changes to the Constitution in mid-2020 to allow all beekeepers become a member of Industry. 

 

But, have we got it right?

We invite you to get informed and help shape the future of beekeeping in WA! 

The Bee Industry Council of WA (BICWA) has been established to represent the interests of all beekeepers, whether commercial or recreational. It is now seeking to implement a new constitution and membership structure to reflect the changing nature and importance of honey and pollen production.

The proposed changes are detailed below.  Your constructive feedback via email is welcomed.

 

About the WA beekeeping industry

There are now more than 4000 beekeepers (mostly recreational) who have about 52,000 hives (mostly owned by commercial operators). Honey production has recently been valued at about $40 million in a good year, with $8 million from exported honey.  The value to horticulture industries of pollination services is estimated to be more than $1 billion. Consumers are also more educated about honey and the choices available.

 

BICWA advocates on behalf of, and represents all beekeepers, to all levels of Government.  It has developed good relations with Government Ministers and relevant Government departments, research organisations, horticultural stakeholders, and associated organisations.

 

Why do we need to change?

BICWA’s current constitution limits membership to organisations and associations, rather than individuals.  The proposed changes will make individuals our members. About 25 per cent of beekeepers belong to our member organisations, which offers a big opportunity for growth. 

 

Proposed membership changes

The current constitution allows for association membership only. 

These are: the WA Apiarists Society (WAAS), the WA Beekeepers Association (WABA) and WA Farmers’ Beekeepers Section.

 

The proposed changes involve a three-tier membership structure

Beekeepers, Alliance Partners and Friends;

 

Beekeeper members, who have paid a fee for service charge to the Agricultural Produce Commission (APC) or a hive brand registration fee to the Department for Primary Industry and Development (DPIRD);

Alliance partner members, who have a commercial interest in beekeeping or associated agricultural industries, including industry organisations, packers, and research organisations;

 

And, Friends, which is available to anyone associated with beekeeping or other agricultural industries that are interested in our activities.

 

Membership will be available via the BICWA website and every member is required to sign up, including beekeeper members.

 

Membership for beekeepers will be free, as they are already paying fees for registration.  The fee structure for Alliance Partners and Friends will be determined by the incoming BICWA Board.

 

Proposed voting structure

When required at annual general meetings or special meetings, all beekeeper members will have one vote (DPIRD hive brand), and one vote for each registered hive (APC FFS fee) providing they are financial at time of voting and will elect the BICWA Board of Directors each year.

Alliance Partners and Friends will not be eligible to vote for directors, but will have one vote for all other matters that need a decision by members.

 

Proposed new Board of Directors

Beekeepers will elect the directors to the board. There is a minimum of 5 beekeeper directors and those directors will then appoint up to three independent directors based on their skill set. The Board can have a maximum of nine directors. All beekeeper directors will need to nominate and there will be a time limit for how long any individual can serve on the board.

 

The future

These are both exciting and challenging times for all beekeepers, whether commercial or recreational.

There are challenges in biosecurity, disease prevention, access to forests and sites and climate change. There are also opportunities in pollen production, horticulture pollination, queen bee breeding and bee exports, as well as specialist honey varietal production and marketing. Increasing the professionalism, communication and training opportunities are priorities.

 

Feedback

The current BICWA directors have worked very hard to determine how best to prepare the industry for the future. But have we got it right? Now is the time to tell us.

Comments can be made via email to info@bicwa.com.au

by 30 November 2021

Your BICWA board members 2021/22

IMG_8842 copy.jpg

Back row: left, Kim Fewster, Matt Welch, Brendon Fewster, Shane McLinden, Mikey Cernotta, Tristan Campbell, Greg Paust

Front row: left, John McLoughlin, Leilani Leyland, Julie Dinsdale, Christine Spycher