Vol 08 Issue 3 - August 2008

Pollination Field Day Rijami Almonds, 18th August 2008 by Ben Brown, Industry Liaison Manager

An individual, who historically has been immune to bee sting reactions, can at any stage, adversely react to a bee sting. It is essential that fellow workers observe the behaviour of anyone who has been stung, regardless of whether they have previously been immune to stings. Scratch the sting out, don’t grab the end and pull it out as there is a “pump” on the end of the sting which will empty its contents into the body. Ensure all vehicles have a first aid box containing an EpiPen and instructions and warnings on its use. Beekeeper to the Almond Orchard Good communications between the apiarist and the almond orchard staff is essential to a successful, long-term relationship. Preparing a beehive for almond pollination in late winter is an artificial, man-made procedure that requires careful management by an experienced apiarist. Beehive Placement Successful pollination has been achieved by placing hives in larger drops of 50-100 hives and 250-500 metres apart. Experience suggests: A significant amount of cross 1. pollination can occur in the hive and not just out in the orchard, Smaller drops of hives and drops 2. closely spaced do not encourage expansive foraging and, We have previously 3. underestimated the distance which bees will travel for resources. The maximum flight distance between hives should be no more than 250 metres. Allow for a water source for the bees. Vehicle access and room for

A Pollination field day was recently held by the ABA at Rijami Almonds. More than fifty growers, managers and apiarists were addressed by two guest presenters: Dr. Doug Somerville and Trevor Monson. Doug currently works for the NSW Department of Primary Industries. He is one of only a few bee technical specialists in Australia, and comes with over 20 years experience. Trevor has more than 40 years experience as a commercial beekeeper and spends a majority of his time co-ordinating pollination for almond plantings in north-west Victoria. The day's program covered a broad range of topics, including: OH&S of bee hives and almond • pollination the chainof events involved ingetting • a bee hive from the beekeeper to the almond orchard bee hive standards for almond • pollination bee hive inspection and assessment • • Main points emphasized by presenters during the day included: OH&S All orchards should • bee hive placement • • inner workings of a bee hive, and bee foraging behaviour

Papers in Hand: An attendee at the field day

Dr Doug Somerville demonstrating the inner workings of a hive

own some form of protective clothing (e.g. a jacket with a veil) for emergency circumstances or grower/beekeeper bee hive inspections. Avoid being stung by • wearing full length, light coloured, plain clothing, scentedhair products, deodorant, etc.

I'll Bee Back: Ben Brown covered in bees

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Pollination field day attendees take a closer look at a hive

4 In A Nutshell—August 2008

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