Bushfires this season are having a devastating effect on bees and beekeeping in southern Tasmania. In the Gell River fire, the fires along the Scotts Peak Road, and especially the extensive area burnt in the Arve, there has been a loss of hives, damage to access roads, and particularly a serious loss of foraging resource for bees. The main impact is on leatherwood, compounding the effect of a minimal leatherwood harvest this season.
At the time of writing, the fires are not fully extinguished, with hotspots in many places on the perimeter of burnt areas.
There has been a meeting between some senior beekeepers and Minister Guy Barnett to appraise him of the seriousness of these impacts. In late March, by which time it is hoped all the fires will be out and access to all apiary sites restored, there will be a TBA meeting to review the damage, and discuss how to move forward.
Members can start to input into this review by attending the SBA meeting on 25th February, when the fires will be discussed.