Buzz out about new bee officer
7 June 2016
Agriculture Victoria has created a Victorian 'Bee Biosecurity Officer' position, under a new partnership initiative with the honey bee industry and Plant Health Australia.
Based in Swan Hill, Jessica Hartland is working to reduce the risk of disease entering beehives, by promoting 'best practice biosecurity' based on the Biosecurity Manual for Beekeepers, the Biosecurity Code of Practice and the National Bee Biosecurity Program.
"Industry wants all beekeepers to strive for best practice biosecurity and I will be able to assist with practical applications of best practice," Ms Hartland said.
Working closely with Agriculture Victoria's two other Apiary Inspectors, Daniel Martin and Joe Riordan, she will be monitoring and detecting endemic pests and disease such as American Foul Brood (AFB) via field surveillance.
"In the event of an AFB detection as an authorised officer under the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994, I will undertake the tasks described in the department's AFB Manual of Procedures," she said.
"Increasing awareness, training and educating beekeepers on exotic disease and pests will also be part of my role, including presentations at conferences, industry expos and club meetings.
"I will also be involved with the Sugar Shake Varroa Surveillance program, which currently involves 225 beekeepers state-wide, as well as the National Residue Survey program.
"My role will also involve building strong collaborative relationships with Bee Biosecurity Officers in other jurisdictions."
Ms Hartland said she was looking forward to building on the capabilities of the honey bee industry in responding effectively and in a timely manner to the threat of exotic pests and diseases such as Varroa mite.
PHOTO: Victorian Bee Biosecurity Officer Jessica Hartland in the field.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity