Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are essential for the pollination of about one third of the food we eat – including fruit, vegetables, oils, seeds and nuts – yet globally their heath and ability to pollinate our crops is under serious threat.
In recent years an unprecedented decline in honey bee colonies has been seen around the globe. The causes are still largely unknown.
Australia is particularly vulnerable to declines in honey bee health as our horticulture and agriculture industries rely on un-managed feral honey bees for much of our crop pollination.
Potential threats to honey bees include:
• Varroa mite and other parasites and diseases
• Air pollution and water contamination
• Diet quality
• Mismanagement of hives
• Extreme weather events such as drought.