Today marks World Bee Day, an occasion aiming to raise awareness of the critical role bees play in safeguarding food security, as well as the contribution the bee industry makes to economies, the environment and society in general.
SA Apiarists' Association executive council member and SA Apiary Alliance chair Danny Le Feuvre said it was important to recognise the contribution of bees all across the globe.
"World Bee Day is a great initiative and shines an important light on the global honeybee industry," he said.
Bees play an important role in the pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops, with 65 per cent of all plant-based industries in Australia dependent to some extent on honeybee pollination.
It is estimated that this year, SA will produce an estimated $11 million worth of bee products primarily honey.
Other products include beeswax, pollen, royal jelly and package bees, with the overall sum of products produced nationally estimated to be in excess of $101 million each year.
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Mr Le Feuvre said the SA bee industry would be particularly important for the almond industry in the coming year and beyond.
"This year, over 40,000 hives will be shifted to the Riverland to pollinate almond orchards for a five-week period from the end of July through August," he said.
"Demand for pollination services from the almond industry is expected to increase to 60,000 in the next few years as this industry expands."
Following August, Mr Le Feuvre said hives would then be shifted to pollinate other horticultural and agricultural crops across the state from September through to April.
The recent bushfires destroyed more than 2,000 hives on Kangaroo Island and in the Adelaide Hills, but Mr Le Feuvre said the SAAA was able to provide Adelaide Hills beekeepers with over 190 operating hives, while more than $75,000 was raised to support beekeepers on KI.
"It is very heartening to know that there is support all year-round, as demonstrated after the bushfires, for our hard working apiarists and colonies of honeybees that contribute so much to the health and well-being of SA, our environment and economy," he said.
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