Forging global connections
The Oceania region consists of Australia, New Zealand, and smaller Pacific Island nations and territories. The region’s honey is prized for its unique qualities, such as medicinal Manuka honey and the purity of honey produced from endemic plants in isolated areas. The region’s beekeepers are generally highly professional with strong traceability of their products providing the ability through good record keeping differentiating many varietal honeys and geographic production areas.
The region has many native pollinating bee species, but honey is almost entirely produced with European honeybees in movable-frame hives. Beekeepers’ priorities include honey quality, bee health, and improving honey production.
Beekeepers in the region are actively adapting to more frequent extreme weather events related to climate change, such as droughts and fires, cyclones and flooding. The spread of varroa mites in recent years to Australia, Fiji and other previously unaffected areas has created additional challenges for producers of bee products.
There are between 800 and 1,000 beekeepers in Fiji. They are mostly small-scale, with approximately 20 beekeepers managing 100+ hives. Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, and Tonga have small but active beekeeping groups.
Apimondia is the link that brings global apiculture science to the Oceania region. Highly specialized and professional beekeepers from Australia and New Zealand forge global connections with international scientists from the world over through links made at Apimondia congresses and via the Apimondia global network. For a developing apicultural country, such as Fiji, Apimondia offers a unique opportunity to learn from other countries that have more mature beekeeping industries.