The proposed McPhillamy's Gold Project north of Blayney has left apiarists furious about the future of their business.
Goldfields Honey principals the Lockwood family said planned expansions could be put on hold and they would have to rethink the ongoing viability of their business.
One of Australia's largest pollinating companies, Goldfields Honey has been in expansion mode for years, this year moving 8000 hives into almond plantations along the Victorian border.
The bees need water too, but if there's heavy metals in the water it will kill them.Goldfields Honey's Jon Lockwood
The family said essential floral reserves and forests around their Vittoria site, on the Mitchell Highway, are set to be razed, and contaminants from the planned gold mine may kill their bees or pollute their honey.
Goldfields Honey beekeeper Jon Lockwood has 21 leases throughout the Vittoria State Forest bordering the proposed mine site.
His brother Sam breeds queens near the boundary of the proposed mine site.
Jon Lockwood said the forest was considered an ecologically endangered community as defined by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
"I just don't want this (project) to happen, where does agriculture fit in all of this?" he says.
MAP: The proximity of the proposed mine to Goldfields Honey. Click on the map to see which shapes are which parts of the plan ...
"It will pollute the hives, that much we know, there will be dust on the flowers, and we won't know what's in the dust.
"The bees need water too, but if there's heavy metals in the water it will kill them, it's a known fact."
Contamination is a risk to a supplier of food products, supermarkets test for such things, and should a supplier be in found of breach of food safety guidelines they may be prosecuted.
Sam Lockwood, who breeds queen bees, said much of the yellow box and ground flora his business relies on would be wiped out if the mine is approved.
He said having hives so close to his factory meant they could produce a better quality queen because the hives and nutrition were constantly monitored.
Family matriarch, Vicki Lockwood, who is extremely hands-on in the business, said the succession plans for the business - Jon and Sam are second generation - would be left in tatters.
"We're very keen for this business to keep going generation after generation," she said.
Regis Resources special projects manager Tony McPaul said the company had met with the Lockwoods and offered to engage an independent expert to determine, if any, potential impacts on the bees.
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