Vital work to ensure our food security
The Wheen Bee Foundation supports research projects and activities aimed at keeping bees healthy. Working with all levels of government, the apiculture industry, bee-reliant food industries, universities, research organisations and community, we fund vital strategic research and education initiatives that strengthen bees, improve pollination efficiency, increase food security and support ecosystem health.
The core objectives of the foundation are to:
- Fund Research & Development
- Raise Awareness of the importance of bees for food security and ecosystem health.
- Connect People integral to the cause.
The Wheen Bee Foundation is not a lobby group and specifically does not advocate on industry issues.
Donations to the Foundation help finance various research and activities including:
- Investigations of the biology and behaviour of pests such as Varroa mite and small hive beetle
- Research into a wide range of bee diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi
- Dissemination of information to beekeepers and the public about biosecurity and best practices in beekeeping
- Stock improvement programs for honey bee resistance or tolerance to pests and diseases
- Issues affecting the viability of the beekeeping industry that also affect bee health, such as access to good pollen and nectar sources.
You can read more about our specific research projects here.
The Bee Friendly Farming program supports farmers to protect, preserve and promote the health of bees and other pollinators on their land. Bee Friendly Farming sets standards for sustainable land management on important concepts like planting pollinator food resources, providing nesting habitat, and incorporating integrated pest management.
Through the Bee Friendly Farming Program, Wheen Bee Foundation has partnered with One Tree Planted and Flow Hive to establish the Bee Friendly Farming Tree Grants. These grants provide between 1,000 and $10,000 to farmers to plant pollinator-friendly trees.
The Carman's Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants program offers grants of up to $500 to community organisations to plant pollinator-friendly trees and shrubs in their local area. The program is run by the Wheen Bee Foundation in partnership with Carman’s.
The Powerful Pollinators Planting Guide program has seen the creation of individual regional guides providing information on plant selection and management to increase the number and diversity of insect pollinators in farm and urban landscapes.
The 5Bees program supports commercial beekeepers to recover from bushfire and drought. Established in 2020 through the Wheen Bee Foundation’s Bushfire Rebuild and Recovery Fund, the program helps beekeepers adapt to a changing climate and increasing incidents of severe weather conditions including drought, bushfire and floods.
The Green Carpenter Bee Conservation Project is an initiative of the Wheen Bee Foundation with support from ANZ Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Flow and Seacology. The project has supported the development of artificial nesting substrates on Kangaroo Island. The focus of this project has recently expanded due to the impacts of the catastrophic 2020 bushfires.
The Australian Pollinator Photography Competition calls on all photographers with an interest in wildlife to head outside and turn their cameras to bees and other pollinators.
The Australian Pollinator Count is an annual census of pollinators that takes place during Australian Pollinator Week. Citizen scientists across the country are encouraged to count the pollinators in their local area and submit their results online. Collecting this data helps build an understanding of the number and diversity of pollinating insects in the environment.
The Centre for Bee Education is a national learning hub for science-based information about bees and other pollinators, developed in collaboration between the Wheen Bee Foundation and Beechworth Honey. Through the Centre for Bee Education, educators and students can access learning resources, information sheets and lesson plans for engaging learning that fosters a lifelong passion for bees.
The Wheen Bee Foundation Bee Ambassador Network brings together volunteer bee advocates to share their passion and talent to help create a better world for bees. New applicants have a chance to join the Network and take part in the Bee Ambassador Training Program, a yearly three-day residential training program where participants learn the skills to educate communities and inspire a new generation of bee supporters.
The Linton Briggs Advancing Apiculture Program is dedicated to strengthening innovation and leadership skills in the beekeeping industry, supporting industry leadership participation and building organisational effectiveness.
Wheen Bee Foundation has taken on a pivotal role in the establishment of a Pollination Security CRC. The CRC will focus on improving pollination efficacy, biosecurity and the sustainable management of honey bees and other pollinating insects. A key focus of the CRC is the development of a national pollination strategy.
The Wheen Bee Foundation Research Apiary is a fully funded resource available to researchers and organisations to study pests, diseases and other issues that affect bees. The findings improve our scientific understanding of bees and help tailor best practice management strategies to improve bee health and welfare.
Wheen Bee Foundation has launched a Fund to discover and document Australia’s remaining native bee species. The Fund will support an ambitious campaign by Taxonomy Australia to discover and describe all remaining Australian bee species over six years.