Proactive measures ensure uninterrupted pollination

18 August 2023

Biosecurity Tasmania is taking proactive measures to ensure the seamless continuation of pollination activities in the greater Devonport area while reducing potential risks associated with the spread of small hive beetle.

As part of our ongoing commitment to protect the health of Tasmania’s bee population and our honey and pollination sectors, we are implementing a range of actions to facilitate pollination while minimising interference and potential threats.

Pollinators can apply for a permit to bring their hives into the 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area specifically for the purpose of pollinating crops. Permits allow hives to be brought into the Bee Movement Restriction Area and placed at orchards prior to inspection. Only one permit is required per pollinator, regardless of the number of hives. Applications are open now.

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To apply for a permit, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777.

Hives cannot enter the Bee Movement Restriction Area without a permit – penalties may apply if hives are moved into the Area without a permit.

Biosecurity officers will inspect all existing hives within the 10km Bee Movement Restriction Area. Provided no further beetles are detected, Biosecurity Tasmania aims to reduce the size of the Area down to 5km, then 1.5km as soon as possible.

Due to bee welfare, hives cannot be opened until the ambient temperature reaches 15 degrees Celsius. Weather permitting, it is estimated that all existing hives and incoming hives for crop pollination will be checked by the end of October.

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If more small hive beetles are detected, pollination hives may have to remain within the Bee Movement Restriction Area until the area is cleared. In this case, hives may be moved to a designated location post-pollination to avoid crop spraying harming the bees. Biosecurity Tasmania will work with pollinators and producers to achieve this with minimal disruption.

Biosecurity Tasmania’s emergency management protocols have been enacted to contain, manage and recover as quickly and efficiently as possible. Biosecurity Tasmania encourages all beekeepers to visit the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania’s website for more information