Tasmanian beekeepers set to gain greater access to forest resources
A newly signed memorandum of understanding is set to allow beekeepers greater access to leatherwood trees in support of the state's honey and pollination industries.
The nation-leading agreement signed on Sunday between the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association, Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and Sustainable Timbers Tasmanian will ensure beekeepers have the maximum practical access to leatherwood trees on STT managed land.
STT chief executive Steve Whiteley said his company had been working with beekeepers for many years to develop an understanding of how to work together in the forest and share resources.
"This MOU recognises the work that we have done and strengthens that relationship," Mr Whiteley said.
"It's for both industries to work together well and grow the value of both industries."
Australian Honey Bee Industry Council chief executive Sarah Paradice said she would use the Tasmanian deal as a blueprint for other states to roll-out similar agreements.
"Tasmania is leading the nation in this area," Ms Paradice said.
Primary Industries minister Guy Barnett said the memorandum was a great example of Tasmania's primary industries working together for mutually beneficial, sustainable outcomes.
"While STT has long supported the apiary industry by providing access to important apiary resources such as manuka and leatherwood, this agreement formalises the strong working relationships," Mr Barnett said.
"It's a win-win for Tasmanian forestry [and] for the honey industry."
Mr Barnett said beekeepers not only produce iconic leatherwood honey but they also provide bees to pollinate high value fruit, cereal and vegetable crops.
"These pollination services make a critical contribution and have higher economic value than honey production, which had a 2017-18 farm-gate value for honey and bee's wax in excess of $8 million and exports worth $2.4 million," he said.
Tasmanian Beekeepers Association president Lindsay Bourke said the MOU gives beekeepers resource security.
"It does give us confidence because our agricultural industries in Tasmania are rapidly growing and the beekeeping industry needs to expand to keep up with them, and this helps us to do that," Mr Bourke said.
Source: The Advocate