Hive Aid

Direct donations can be made here

Professional beekeepers are encouraged to register for assistance here.

Australia’s professional beekeepers are our forgotten farmers. These important primary producers are often overlooked when it comes to the effects of drought, bushfire and other natural disasters. Yet professional beekeepers are the cornerstone of our agricultural industry. They play a vital role in helping to pollinate important food crops for both humans and livestock, in addition to producing delicious Aussie honey from our rugged bushland.

Just as other Australian livestock farmers are facing unprecedented challenges feeding their animals in these extreme conditions, so too are our  hardworking beekeepers. A lack of flowering trees from the severe drought has been compounded with over 4.2 million acres of prime beekeeping country ravaged by fire, making it increasingly difficult for beekeepers to find sufficient food for their bees. 

Australian professional beekeepers are experiencing one of the toughest seasons on record. The scarcity of water, lack of flowering trees and burning bushland mean honey production has fallen sharply, bee populations have suffered, and many honey bees are currently neither producing honey nor pollinating crops. This impact will be felt for many years to come due to a loss of bushland and forests that are relied on to support healthy bee colonies. 

Capilano works with hundreds of these independent professional beekeepers.  But it's not just our beekeepers impacted. Nationally, it's many of Australia's dedicated beekeeping families. Farming families who have handed the rich traditions of Aussie beekeeping down through generations. They’re botanists, meteorologists, food scientists, biologists and most of all, guardians – protecting the bees that are so important to all of us.

But we have to protect Australia's professional beekeepers too. Without these hardworking families who care for the large majority of Aussie bees, we would all have a lot less food variety on our plates. Not to mention a whole lot less beeutiful Aussie honey. 

Each day, our enduring country inspires the Aussie spirit that drives all of us on. To find new wilderness, year after year. To take care of each other when a mate’s in need. And to set the bar higher for the entire honey industry. It is with great pride we announce we have joined with Rural Aid and the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council to launch Hive Aid, a drought and bushfire relief campaign aimed at supporting all Australian Professional beekeepers struggling from the difficult conditions currently being endured across our sunburnt country. 

What is Hive Aid? 

Hive Aid is a drought and bushfire relief campaign aimed specifically at struggling beekeepers. Managed by Rural Aid, one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Hive Aid will provide financial assistance to professional beekeepers impacted by ongoing drought and bushfires.

The fund will be overseen by industry body, the Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC), and will provide financial and practical support to beekeepers, with 100% of donations going directly to the cause.

Hive Aid provides a donation platform for all Australians to help support our littlest livestock and the forgotten farmers who care for them.

Direct donations can be made here

Professional beekeepers are encouraged to register for assistance here.

All applications are treated with strict confidentially by Rural Aid only. This information will not be shared outside of Rural Aid. 

Isn’t there already assistance available for farmers?

Aside from some indirect funding, fodder and freight subsidies, as well as waiving of national park permits and truck registration fees in NSW, there has not been any direct support or funding made available on a national scale for beekeepers registered as primary producers.

Are beekeepers really farmers?

Absolutely. Too often are these important primary producers overlooked, which is why they have been referred to as Australia’s Forgotten Farmers.

While the beekeeping industry is only a small sector, it has a big impact on the Australian agricultural industry via pollination of crops for many of our favourite foods as well as crops used to feed livestock such lucerne.

Like many primary producers, professional beekeeping businesses are often family-run with generations of beekeeping experience, history and wisdom passed on from one generation to the next.

What kind of assistance will Hive Aid provide?

Hive Aid will provide immediate financial assistance to impacted professional beekeepers, helping them with practical costs such as with the cost of water to sustain bees or the cost of fuel to transport hives to areas with more nutritional resources for their bees.

Individual professional beekeepers each have different needs. Hive Aid has been established to enable funds to be directed where they are most needed. Rural Aid will also be providing access to their counselling services.

Can only Capilano beekeepers apply?

No. Any professional Australia beekeeper who is currently impacted by drought and/or bushfires can seek immediate support through Hive Aid.

Capilano understands it is often too easy to overlook our littlest livestock and the forgotten farmers who care for them. We are proud to have joined with Rural Aid and peak industry body The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC), to launch Hive Aid as we recognise the very difficult conditions currently being endured by all Australian beekeepers and their honey bees, particularly those in QLD and NSW.

Hive Aid will be overseen by AHBIC and sits alongside other programs run by Rural Aid. 100% of funds raised through the Hive Aid campaign will go directly to professional Australian beekeepers.  

Any Professional beekeeper experiencing hardship is encouraged to register for assistance here.  All applications are treated confidentially directly through Rural Aid. 

Is this assistance available for hobby beekeepers?

This assistance has been designed to support registered primary producers running fulltime beekeeping operations. 

Australia’s hardworking professional beekeepers are the cornerstone of Australian agriculture. By supporting these forgotten farmers we are doing the most we can to help support the ‘littlest livestock with the biggest impact’.

Typically, beekeepers who run over 400 hives are classified as Professional Beekeepers. Registered as primary producers, these beekeepers produce honey and provide pollination services on a commercial scale. There are around one thousand professional beekeepers whose livelihoods are based on managing these fulltime, commercial-scale beekeeping operations. Professional beekeepers produce pure Aussie honey from our rugged Australian bushland. While this is typically the main income source for their business, a large majority also offer pollination as a service. As such, they also directly responsible for pollinating one third of everything that we eat.

Why do Professional Beekeepers need assistance?

Australia’s professional beekeepers are our forgotten farmers. These important primary producers are often overlooked when it comes to the effects of drought, bushfire and other natural disasters. We need to support our “littlest livestock”, honey bees, and the Australian beekeepers who care for them.

Australian beekeepers are experiencing one of the toughest seasons on record thanks to drought and bushfires, with conditions only set to become worse in coming months. A scarcity of water and flowering trees mean honey production has fallen sharply, bee populations have suffered, and many honey bees are currently neither producing honey nor pollinating crops.

Significant swathes of prime beekeeping country have already been lost across Queensland and New South Wales with bushfires continuing to destroy much needed habitat relied on by professional beekeepers to support healthy bee colonies. Sadly, this impact will be felt for many years to come.

How do beekeepers support bees during drought and bushfire?

Many hardworking beekeepers are now having to resort to extreme measures to support their bee colonies, with the focus for many now switching to maintaining their hives rather than producing honey.

Facing decimated floral resources, many beekeepers are resorting to supplementary feeding their bees to ensure they have the nutritional requirements the need to avoid starvation. Many are carting water to their hives and some beekeepers have even been forced to move their hives interstate to seek adequate floral resources for their bees.

The cost of water and supplementary food to sustain the bees and the cost of fuel to transport hives to areas with more floral resources are an added burden to the beekeeper’s businesses, putting livelihoods at risk

To be healthy, honey bees need:

  • Water,
  • Carbohydrates from honey, which is made from the nectar they have foraged,
  • Protein from pollen that they also collect, and
  • Key minerals and vitamins from nectar and pollen.

    When any of the above aren’t readily available in the environment, beekeepers turn to supplement feeding to care for their bees. This is a costly investment but in times of drought and bushfire without this support the bee colonies are at risk of starvation.

Right now, these measures are the main thing sustaining honey bee colonies in drought and bushfire impacted Queensland and New South Wales. Just as other farmers supplementary feed cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry to ensure proper nutrition, beekeepers sometimes need to supply their bees with nutrition not otherwise available.

Supplementary feeding bees is following proper animal welfare protocol. Allowing bees to starve is neglect and considered animal cruelty. 

If you want to call speak with us, free call. 1800 880 808