The 2014 MMLAP AGM was held at Karoonda on Sunday 23, August. Guest speaker and local bee keeper Steve Berkin spoke about problems facing the honey bee industry and the potential impacts on food security and biodiversity both locally and world wide. He discussed the effects of agricultural chemicals on bee life cycles, explaining how some chemicals lead to colony collapse disorder (CCD) by impacting the bees ability to function and develop as normal. Bees that gather pollen and nectar from plants affected by chemical spray may also introducie toxic food to the brood.
Other factors that lead to honey beey decline are fire, extreme temperature, dieback of plant species and disease. Such factors have contributed to CCD which in turn impacts upon agricultural production and food security as well as biodiversity. Approximately a third of every bite of food humans take relies on pollination by bees. It is clear that if honey beey colonies decline there will be imense pressure on food supplies globally.