THE first cohort of beekeeping students celebrated their graduation at a Yanchep training facility yesterday.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products (CRCHBP) held its first graduation ceremony and its official opening on September 26.
Education Minister Sue Ellery presented the 15 graduates with their Certificate III Beekeeping qualifications and Pearce MHR Christian Porter officially opened the centre in the Yanchep Innovation Hub.
Chief executive Liz Barbour said the centre was offering a second course in Jandakot and would offer another in Yanchep next year.
“We are working on developing additional courses which will focus on ‘honey bee products as a high value product’,” said.
“Teaching will include honey bee product basic chemistry, bioactivity, handling and labelling.”
Dr Barbour said highlights of the centre’s first year included identifying 12 PhD students for the 16 positions available, who will start in 2019.
She said the centre and UWA business school had developed a ‘Honey Hackathon’ and support continued through monthly meet-ups, with the next one planned for October 16 from 7pm to 9pm.
“This is a group that meets monthly at the Y.hub in the CRCHBP laboratory to discuss, and now experiment with, developing honey bee products,” she said.
The CRC also had a stand at the third Australian Bee Congress, as well as holding public showcases in Perth, Hobart and Brisbane.
In the inaugural annual report, chairman Paul McKenzie said the centre’s initial year marked the start of the greatest concentration of research in the history of the honey bee sector in Australia.
“The CRC brings together private (industry) capital and government investment to establish and develop cooperative and multi-disciplinary research programs,” he said.
“Key program areas include hive sites, honey products, bee health, marketing and training.
“Importantly, the unique features of Australian mono floral honeys will be featured and protected by development of chain of custody and analysis protocols.”
Visit www.crchoneybeeproducts.com for more information.