By Tanya Lewis and Julie BorensteinAP Science WriterWhen the honeybee has had its way with one of the world’s most valuable crops for centuries, it will often become frustrated and, more often than not, it’ll fall prey to a disease.
But this year, that frustration may have been at its most bitter when a group of farmers in central Queensland got into an argument with one another over how to keep bees safe.
On Tuesday, the farmers, all from the north-west of Australia, were meeting in a field in the town of Paddy, near the border with New South Wales.
The event was organised by a beekeeping organisation called Beekeepers of Queensland.
The farmers had come to the event to gather bees for a planned breeding programme.
They were keen to collect some for use as the bees in the colony they planned to set up were not able to fly at all.
The bees, the majority of which have been bred for use in honey production, are not flightless and, with no flight, are unable to move around or move around the hive.
The problem has not only hurt the bees, but also their environment.
“The honey bees are suffering,” said Paddy farmer Tim Begg, who had to go to the hospital with severe pain in his shoulder after a bee sting.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a bee on my shoulder.”
He said he had tried several remedies, but none of them had worked.
“We’re really just trying to find a solution for it,” Mr Begg said.
“So far, the solution is not working.”
The farmer and his wife had decided to try using a drone, which is made up of an electric motor, to help bees move around.
Beekeepers of Australia is the first organisation in Australia to have a drone programme.
The drones can carry up to 10 honeybees and are powered by batteries.
They have been used successfully in the past by beekeepers to collect honey and other materials from the hive of honey bees that pollinate the crops they sell.
But the drone industry is growing fast, with the number of people who own drones now increasing by more than 1,500 per cent in Australia over the past decade.
This year, the industry was worth $20.3 billion in the country, according to the Australian Honey Bee Association.
The industry is also growing at a rapid pace, with more than 100 companies in Australia selling drones.
The company that sells the drones, Beekeeping Australia, is a subsidiary of Honeywell International, which has about 20 employees in the Brisbane area.
Beekeeping Australia president Nick Dyer said his company’s drones were more efficient than conventional ones because they have a bigger battery pack.
“They have to be very careful about how much power they’re using, because if they’re overloading their batteries, they can damage the bees,” Mr Dyer told ABC Radio Brisbane.
Mr Dyer, who was at the meeting, said the drones were designed to have an optimum range for the bees to fly.
“That’s the whole point of it,” he said.
But he said that would not be enough to protect bees from diseases such as the coronavirus.
“As long as they’re flying around and moving around, it’s a good idea to make sure that they are protected,” he added.
The Queensland Department of Primary Industries said it was reviewing the drone programme, and it would also look into how to protect the bees.
“While we are working closely with beekeepers and beekeepers across Queensland, we are not at the point yet where we can comment on the drones,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said.
Topics:health,diseases-and-disorders,science-and,science,paddy-7200,qld,nsw,australiaFirst posted September 25, 2019 16:04:36Contact Julie BordoniMore stories from Queensland