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Federal traceability grant success for Bee Industry Council of WA

BICWA Media Statement 20 June 2024


The Bee Industry Council of WA (BICWA) has secured vital funding for WA beehive traceability in round 3 of the Federal Traceability Grants Program.



This will allow BICWA to provide funds for the development of a centralised traceability system, BeeMAX WA, and an education package to support beekeepers uptake and use of the system.

 

There are also provisions in the grant to further develop and implement BeeSentry, an industry-led early detection project aimed at increasing Western Australia’s border detection capabilities for the highly destructive Varroa Destructor mite.

 

BeeMAX WA will bring WA in line with other states, such as Victoria and Tasmania, who are already using state-funded versions of the system for critical hive traceability data.

 

“Like we saw unfold in the NSW Varroa incursion, without immediately knowing where every managed hive in the state is during an incursion, eradication or containment for DPIRD becomes exponentially harder,” said BICWAs Vice Chair Mikey Cernotta.

 

He added “Hive traceability also provides continuity and confidence for pollination-dependent industries and beekeepers in the event that we have to navigate the very difficult years post an incursion. This is as much about being proactive as it is about prevention.”

 

The grant supports an industry education program to be rolled out to WA beekeepers big and small, assisting them with understanding the benefits to themselves and the state of using BeeMAX.

 

Initially use will be on a voluntary basis, with plans to legislate its use in a similar way to other livestock traceability systems being investigated.

 

Furthermore, the federal funding will allow continued development and implementation of BeeSentry units in WA.

 

BeeSentry is a WA industry lead and funded AI technology feeding station that aims to improve rapid detection capabilities of Varroa.

 

BICWA submitted the grant proposal, with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, after both BICWA and DPIRD had been unable to secure funding from within the state.

 

Round 3 of the Traceability Grants Program saw 73 applications, totalling $26.6 million, competing for just $4 million in available funds, each project could apply for up to $500,000.

 

“The Federal Government has acknowledged through this $492,000 project that keeping Varroa out of WA will have benefits for our state and the rest of the Nation.”

 

“We are under no illusions that to avoid the costly impacts of Varroa, there needs to be improvement right across the board. Traceability, rapid detection and compliance are all critical components that simply must work in unison” said Mikey Cernotta.


 

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:

 

BICWA Resource & Biosecurity Chair, Mikey Cernotta: 0418 229 252


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