Australian Native Bee Strategic RD&E Plan

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Australia has approximately 1650 named native bee species. Most Australian native bees are classified as solitary or semi-social, however there are 11 described species of highly social stingless native bees. All species are valuable pollinators, with stingless bees also producing a highly valued honey with reported health benefits.

Australian native bee honey production is estimated to have an industry value of less than $1m. By 2030, this value is expected to increase to $3-5m, with native bee honey retailing for $200-450 per kilogram. The supply of colonies for beekeepers and the provision of pollination services for growers are where the highest returns in the value chain currently rest.

The development of a Strategic Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Plan is a crucial first step in growth for an emerging industry. This Australian Native Bee Strategic RD&E Plan clearly identifies opportunities and barriers to industry growth, and subsequent RD&E priorities for the industry. Strategic RD&E Plans for emerging industries are resources that can be used by industry to help drive investment and growth within the industry.

This Strategic RD&E Plan is the result of extensive desktop research and stakeholder consultation across the Australian native bee industry, and pulls together specific recommendations for future investment to support the long-term growth and competitive advantage of the industry.

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