Fears of a mite infestation that could devastate Australia’s bee population are among the concerns to be raised at a senate hearing.
Bee business and a potential billion dollar threat to agriculture is on the agenda of a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
At a town hall in Murray Bridge, west of Adelaide, senators will start to hear evidence from those in the bee and honey industry, including their fears of an infestation of the disease-spreading Varroa mite.
Ten submissions have been received, with some indicating a mite infestation is most likely to reach Australia via established bee hives carried on international shipping.
Such a breakout could cost Australian agriculture billions of dollars through subsequent loss of pollination and propagation of crops, independent senator Nick Xenophon says.
Australia needs to strengthen its biosecurity regulations, demanding that overseas shipping companies remove bee hives from ships before arrival, Senator Xenophon said.
The beekeeping and pollination inquiry is also scheduled to sit in Brisbane in May.