The Hort Frontiers Pollination Fund aims to enhance and support existing pollinators, and identify the most effective pollination methods for various horticulture crop types.
Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from one flower to another, and is critical in 60 per cent of agricultural production. It helps the growth of many fruits, vegetables, nut and flower species, and in some instances, can increase crop yield. In Australia, pollination-dependent crops have been estimated to be worth over $4.3 billion per annum, with a direct contribution by honey bees estimated to be over $1.6 billion*.
The Australian horticultural industry faces many shared challenges with the honey bee industry, with the threat of the parasitic Varroa mite, and colony collapse disorder. Australia is the last country in the world where Varroa mite has not taken hold on the European honey bee population. This mite is thought to be a major factor behind widespread colony collapses in various countries including the United States, Canada and Japan.
The fund aims to create a sustainable and resilient horticultural industry through improved pollination options and services. It has three key areas of focus: management of European honey bee; optimisation of crop pollination efficiency; and identifying alternative crop pollinators.
To help in safeguarding the horticulture industry, the fund will identify putting practical measures in place to support honey bee health and identify and develop new pollination opportunities and techniques.
*Hafi et al, 2012
Numerous investments have been made in the Hort Frontiers Pollination Fund – explore these projects below.
Expert Advisory Panel
The function of the Hort Frontiers Polination Fund Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) is to provide expert advice and oversight of the fund, including providing input into proposed projects/research and recommendations on potential methods to address future gaps or deficiencies in the existing body of research. The panels provide impartial assessment and commercially relevant scrutiny of research proposals, fostering external confidence in Hort Innovation’s ability to rigorously assess, and provide evidence and merit-based recommendations to the Hort Innovation Board.
|Jodie Goldsworthy||Beechworth Honey Group|
|Ben Brown||Select Harvest|
|David Bardon||Costa Group|
|Phil Pyke||Fruit Growers Tasmania Inc|
|Dr David Pattemore||Plant & Food Research-NZ|
|Dr James Cook||Western Sydney University|
|Graeme Smith||Graeme Smith Consulting|
|Ashley Zamek (Facilitator)||Hort Innovation|
|Dr Alok Kumar (Facilitator)||Hort Innovation|