Location

Covington, KY

Start Date

2023 12:00 AM

Description

More than 80% of Australian honey is produced from native tree and shrub species. However, with increasing demands on public lands along with production risks posed by drought, floods and wildfires, there is a need to identify alternative forage resources to augment Australian honey production. With over 30 pasture legumes now available for agriculture in southern Australia, opportunity exists to increase the utilisation of some species with co-benefits to multiple production industries. However, there is little understanding of the potential value of most pasture legumes for honey production, and side by side comparisons are complicated by factors such as differences in phenology, flower morphology and low nectar quantities. This paper describes a preliminary investigation presently underway in Australia comparing the floral attributes of 22 annual and short-lived perennial pasture legumes. The objective of the project is to prioritise species for their potential value to the local honey bee industry based on floral attributes, as well as existing and potential zones of adaptation. Methods being used to compare species in the Clover4Bees Pilot Study are described.

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Opportunities and Challenges in Augmenting Honey Bee Forage Resources with Pasture Legumes in Southern Australia

Covington, KY

More than 80% of Australian honey is produced from native tree and shrub species. However, with increasing demands on public lands along with production risks posed by drought, floods and wildfires, there is a need to identify alternative forage resources to augment Australian honey production. With over 30 pasture legumes now available for agriculture in southern Australia, opportunity exists to increase the utilisation of some species with co-benefits to multiple production industries. However, there is little understanding of the potential value of most pasture legumes for honey production, and side by side comparisons are complicated by factors such as differences in phenology, flower morphology and low nectar quantities. This paper describes a preliminary investigation presently underway in Australia comparing the floral attributes of 22 annual and short-lived perennial pasture legumes. The objective of the project is to prioritise species for their potential value to the local honey bee industry based on floral attributes, as well as existing and potential zones of adaptation. Methods being used to compare species in the Clover4Bees Pilot Study are described.