Securing pollination for productive agriculture: guidelines for effective pollinator management and stakeholder adoption (PH16004)
What's it all about?
This investment provides funding into an existing Rural R&D for Profit program, to ensure additional years of field work can be conducted.
The project is investigating which pollinators (wild species, hived honey bees and feral honey bees) are currently contributing to several horticulture crops as well as lucerne seed and canola, and will allow an assessment of how these services may change with Varroa mite impacts.
The work will then identify farming practices to ensure provision of ongoing pollination services in the face of not only the biosecurity threat of Varroa, but other potential threats such as unintended consequences of changes to the natural resource base for bees (land use changes). Such practices may include providing resources in and around crops for non‐honeybee pollinators (which are immune to Varroa), and providing food resources for commercially managed honey bees to support the best possible population strength even when living with Varroa.
This program is aimed at increasing grower profits and minimising the risks of a pollinator crisis, but will also provide lasting environmental benefits. Another important aspect of this project is the work that will be undertaken to determine the feral honey bee population across key areas and the value these bees contribute as pollination providers.
The project will deliver resources in and around crops for non-honey bee pollinators and will also look to re-establish native vegetation to support pollinator food and nesting resources to optimise crop yield and strengthen pollination security.
Field work under this investment will involve the following crops:
See this video on pollination to learn more about how Costa farms assesses the colony density of honey bees.