The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) has welcomed the proposed course, Basic Introduction to Beekeeping Skill Set, which has been released for public comment by Agrifood Skills Australia.
WAFarmers Beekeepers Section President, David Leyland, said WAFarmers had been working with industry bodies, industry training council, training providers and community to ascertain the needs of the industry and those wishing to participate in managing a hive.
“WAFarmers Beekeepers Section was the instigator and supports this proposal 100 per cent,” Mr Leyland said.
“WAFarmers has been consistently receiving queries from the general public, young people looking for employment in the industry, those who have recently entered the beekeeping industry and those who wish to manage a few hives in the backyard. The question is always the same, is there a course that I can do so I know how to manage my hive?”
Mr Leyland said if the Basic Introduction to Beekeeping Skill Set receives support around the country, it will fill the current and very real void.
The units will provide basic knowledge on how to look after a hive and how to identify and manage any potential pests and diseases.
“From an industry point of view, it is important that anyone who manages a hive has the skills to look after it for the benefit of the bees in that hive and the industry as a whole,” he said.
“The new course will enable beekeepers to send new and existing workers to do a nationally recognised course and one that can be built on towards Certificate III in Beekeeping.
“The course will enable young people to enter the industry, it will educate school aged children to learn about bees and it will assist people to manage their backyard hives effectively.
“The course will also increase awareness of pests and diseases by course participants to minimise the spread of pests and diseases within the industry.
“WAFarmers is currently working with training providers to ascertain the costs and possible funding opportunities. The proposal has already gained support from other stakeholders in the industry, we hope that other beekeeping associations around the country will see the merit of this initiative and provide support so that the bee industry as a whole can benefit from the program,” Mr Leyland concluded.