Western Australia’s endemic flora, together with regulated honey bee isolation, has created the opportunity to produce unique honey bee products from the healthiest bees in the world.
The Faculty of Science is driving research to provide non-chemical solutions to maintain honey bee health, protect and create honey bee hive sites in harmony with native fauna and support our local industry to add value to their products.
Demand for new anti-microbial human defences has led to honey bee products gaining increased attention in the health area. All honeys have anti-microbial activity although activity differs as much as 100-fold between honeys. Manuka (produced from Leptospermum species) and Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) honey are the most famous of these antimicrobial honeys and both can be naturally produced from endemic flora in Western Australia.
Pollination services are the other benefit of having healthy bees. Around 35 different food crops are dependent on honeybee pollination for their production.
To discuss collaboration or PhD supervision, key UWA contacts are listed below.
Honey bee health
Research to provide non-chemical solutions to maintain honey bee health in Australia:
- Maintaining genetic diversity
- Food sources and supplements on bee health
- Hygienic behaviours
- Social insect reproduction and immunity: Dr Boris Baer
- Honey Bee Diseases, host parasite interactions, quantitative proteomics and genomics: Dr Julia Grassl
- Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER)
Honey bee hive sites
- predict nectar flow and value a honey bee hive site for its bee health sustenance and product production
- create new, high value honey bee hive sites
- breed high value honey bee plants for honey bee product production
- Application of GIS and Remote Sensing technologies to the study the environmental management: Dr Bryan Boruff
- Ecophysiological research into plant productivity and nectar production as dependent on species/season/management: Assoc/Prof Erik Veneklaas
- Valuing a bee hive site for its honey bee product potential: Assoc/Prof Benedict White
- Spatial modelling of foraging and resource use to help value, choose and manage hive sites: Dr Michael Renton
- Genetics and selection of Leptospermum species: Dr Patrick Finnegan
- Accelerated breeding of high value plants for honey bee product production: Dr Janine Croser
Research to identify and quantify active components and assess potential health benefits of honey bee products from mono-floral honeys.
- Antimicrobial activity of honey bee products: Dr Kate Hammer
- Skin healing activity of honey: Dr Mark Fear
- Antioxidant and flavonoid analysis: Assoc/Prof Connie Locher
- Phenolic analysis: Asst/Prof Michael Clarke
- Venom effect on cancer: Dr Pilar Blancafort
Honey product marketing
Research to optimise and sustainably manage the value and traceability of Australian honeys.
- Entrepreneurship: Professor Thierry Volery
- Chain of custody: Professor Sharon Purchase
- Branding and labelling: Assoc/Prof Fang Liu
- PhD opportunities in Science
- International postgraduate research enquiries
- Science Global research showcase
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