IN recent years the world’s bees have steadily been in decline, which leaves our planet at risk of losing a substantial proportion of its flora.
What many Australians don’t realise is that our bee exporters are on the front line, providing Europe, the Middle East and North America with millions of queen bees each year as the worldwide shortage continues.
One of those Australian exporters is Charlie Casido from Australian Queen Bee Line in Orange who has exported to places like Canada, America, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and throughout Europe for nearly 10 years.
“We have been exporting since 2007 - our first was our queen bee to Canada and also America in 2008,” he said.
“We then started sending them to the Middle East in places like Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, but at the moment our biggest market is still Canada.
“Now is a very busy time - we have a big shipment leaving here on Saturday.”
Mr Casido said the demand for his queens overseas remains high, but he can’t always meet their needs because of weather conditions and also a lack of trained workers.
Orange City councillor Scott Munro said it was important to bring to light the importance of the queen bee export industry to try and help businesses like Australian Queen Bee Line continue to grow and meet the needs of overseas markets.
“It’s important to highlight different types of Australian agriculture and the different ways to make money off the land,” he said.
“Queen bee exports are an economic thriver for Australia and the area.
“It gives us a great reputation in agriculture to be able to send our quality clean queen bees over there.
“If you don’t have bees you can’t pollinate your crops, which affect growers’ yields, so they’re very important to the world’s food security.”
Cr Munro also touched on Mr Casido’s trouble finding suitable workers.
He said despite recent job losses around the Central West, namely at Electrolux, there were still opportunities at places like Australian Queen Bee Line to work in agriculture and make a significant contribution to the industry.