Ensuring almond pollination can continue during border closures

The critical pollination period for Australia’s billion-dollar almond industry has arrived and it is important that beekeepers freighting their livestock are able to cross borders.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said it is vital that agricultural services, such as the pollination services provided by bees, are allowed to get to where they need to go.

“The border restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19 should be managed in a way to protect lives while allowing essential agricultural cross-border transport, including beehive movements,” Minister Littleproud said.

“As the weather warms up, it is critical that beekeepers are not impeded unnecessarily from undertaking their role in supporting the almond industry. The last thing we want is agitated bees at a border crossing.

“Almost 100 per cent of the almond industry is based along the Murray Valley, and all producing regions have had extremely low COVID-19 cases and no new cases for months. Both beekeepers and almond producers have COVID-19 risk mitigation plans in place.

State and territory governments continue to advise the Australian Government of the work they are doing to support agriculture on all sides of the borders.

“I commend the well-established relationships between governments and the apiary industry ensuring these issues are identified and addressed quickly and appropriately,” Minister Littleproud said.

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