Bushfires likely to have impact on honey supplies

Bushfires likely to have impact on honey supplies

01 February 2016

published by www.theadvocate.com.au

Australia–  LEATHERWOOD honey may be in short supply after bushfires damaged some of the trees owned by apiarists on the North-West Coast.

Uncontrolled bushfires have wreaked havoc on North-West Coast apiarists with some losing trees to the fire and others unable to access their property as emergency services closed roads.

One Coastal honey producer was forced to evacuate last week as fires threatened the town of Mawbanna.

Tasmanian Beekeepers Association president Lindsay Bourke said they weren’t sure how many trees may have been lost in the fires but said it would have an impact.

“Some of our members have lost some leatherwood and manuka territory,” he said.

“The manuka will grow back quickly but the leatherwood won’t, it will take many years for it to get going again.”

Mr Bourke said leatherwood trees were “very susceptible” to bushfires and said the trees did not like to grow back through ash.

Tasmanian leatherwood is a sought-after variety of honey and was named the best variety in the world at the bi-annual Apimondia International Apicultural Congress held last year.

He said most of the trees were found on the West Coast where several bushfires have been burning for weeks.

Mr Bourke said he knew of at least one apiary, at Flowerdale, that had lost some leatherwood trees.

Mr Bourke said despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the fires, the season was shaping up to be the best in five years.

“Things look pretty good for those unaffected by the loss of territory,” he said.

The recent rain experienced across the state shouldn’t affect the apiarists too much, according to Mr Bourke.

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