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Heard the buzz about Bee Friendly Farming®?

Industry Best Practice

Have you already made bee-friendly changes to your orchard? Get in touch at communications@apal.org.au – we’d love to hear about it! 

Fiona Chambers, Wheen Bee Foundation CEO

The Wheen Bee Foundation launched the Bee Friendly Farming® (BFF) program to help protect Australia’s food security by making our farms, gardens and managed land more pollinator-friendly. 

CEO of the Wheen Bee Foundation, Fiona Chambers, said this program builds on the rigorous scientific research already undertaken by the Foundation, adapting the highly successful BFF program from the USA to the unique needs of Australian pollinators and growers. 

“BFF works with Australian farmers and gardeners to give them the knowledge, resources and support to promote pollinator health,” she said. “It sets standards for sustainable practices, provides area-specific guidance, and ensures crop and plant protection through innovative integrated pest management (IPM).” 

What is BFF?

BFF practices involve providing adequate food, habitat and clean water throughout the year for pollinators, and practicing IPM that balances pest control needs with the vital role of pollinators. 

Commercial farms and orchards can apply for official BFF certification. 

What are the benefits?

  • Protecting and preserving bees and other pollinators helps protect our food supply 
  • Beneficial biodiversity can create healthier farmland 
  • Farmers receive support and best-practice guidance to implement positive, incremental and scientifically backed changes 
  • Innovative IPM strategies informed by science reduce the reliance on chemicals for pest control 
  • Farmers join a learning network of like-minded land managers 
  • BFF Certified farms become a preferred destination for paid pollination services. 

Farmers can find additional, unexpected benefits to the health of their land by supporting a bee-friendly ecosystem. 

Hear why Ian Rathjen and Daniel Fischl at Whistling Eagle vineyards are so keen to protect pollinators. 

How do I become BFF Certified?

Certified members maintain an annual membership fee and must meet certain compliance standards.  

There is a formal compliance report once every three years, to monitor the success of the bee-friendly habitats and practices, and to assess the ongoing benefits to the farm. However, Fiona emphasises this is not a regulatory program. 

“We know that these growers and land managers who come on board are genuinely vested in getting results for their farm and pollinators, and want to make a difference,” she said. “We build relationships, provide support where needed, and check in to make sure all of our work together with members is moving towards the mutual benefits we want from the program.” 

You can read more about the certification criteria at the BFF website. 

 

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