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RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Enquiry Based Progress

Working with universities and government institutions globally, we help find answers to important industry relevant questions.  We also assist businesses conducting their own R&D to set up and validate experiments in line with the Australian R&D tax incentive program.

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We gracefully bridge the gap between researchers and beekeepers by providing expert technical beekeeping services and scientific consultation.

OUR PROJECTS

Biosecure Germplam Importation

HORT INNOVATION 

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CSIRO

In a CSIRO led project funded by Horticulture Innovation partnered with Arista Bee Foundation, we facilitated and conducted the first ever drone semen import into Australia and were the first to import live queens through the Mickelham Post Quarantine Facility. The goals of the project were to test the robustness of the current semen importation protocol to safeguard against importing exotic honey bee viruses and to ground proof the new purpose-built quarantine facility, and we did it!

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Counting mite reproduction

Varroa Resistance in the USA

ISSI Agribusiness Fellowship

This fellowship was funded primarily though the international Specialised Skills Institute with top funds from the Victorian Honey bee Compensation and Industry Development Fund in July- August 2019.   We visited several beekeeping operations and. projects focused on breeding for Varroa resistance. It was an amazing, eyeopening, and inspiring experience and provides great hope for Australia’s future.  Read about the people and organisations visited as well as our recommendations for Preparing for Varroa in Australia.

Chalkbrood in Australia

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation/Agrifutures

When conducting freeze-killed brood tests on hundreds of hives in Australia, we noticed that highly hygienic colonies still had chalkbrood disease caused by the fungal pathogen Ascosphera apis.  

This discovery set in motion a four year study investigating chalk brood in Australia.  In summary we found that infected larvae from hygienic hives are producing a volatile signature that is not promoting hygienic removal by house bees allowing the disease to spread in the brood nest.  Continued investigations are currently underway.

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Future Projects
VSH Selection and Breeding in Europe

Victorian State government, Veski and AFAS has granted us the honour of being one of six life science fellows in 2020.  The project is a perfect springboard from the ISSI fellowship continuing to investigate Varroa resistance selection techniques.  This time, travels will be to Europe  to work with the Arista Bee Foundation, Bejo Seeds, and the National French Institute of Agriculture and the Environment (INRAE).

The fellowship will not only focus on breeding for Varroa resistance, but on traits associated with pollination efficacy paving the way for the incorporation of new selection techniques and importation of genetics into Australia.  Sign up for our newsletter to hear updates or follow us in Instagram our Facebook!