New database tracks Vic bee population

Ulises Izquierdo

The Victorian government has announced it will establish a database on the state's bee population at a Melbourne beekeeping hub.

A new beekeeper database called BeeMax will be based at Rooftop Honey, at the top of the Emporium building in the city's centre.

This surveillance and registration system for bees will share real-time information and surveillance data including hive numbers with Agriculture Victoria.

Rooftop Honey was founded in 2010 to promote the return of bee colonies to cities and suburbs.

The government-backed BeeMax database project is part of a global effort to help protect honey bees from threats like the exotic pest Varroa.

The database "is the next step in protecting the state's industry", Agriculture Victoria said in a statement, with collected data used to identify trends and potential risks to bees.

Reports last week said up to 1000 beehives had been destroyed by bushfire on South Australia's Kangaroo Island.