Meet the New DPI Bee Biosecurity Officer: Mark Page

Mark Page will be visiting us at our clubs night meeting in November. Mark’s role with the DPI includes helping amateur beekeepers with education and registration. Here Mark explains how he became intrigued with bees.

Growing up on a small beef property at the back of Nabiac and adjacent to state forest I developed a fascination with the bush and the flora and fauna. During logging operations, the tree cutters would tell me in the afternoon if they had dropped any trees with a bee hive so I could get geared up with a pair of dad’s overalls and go and get some lovely comb honey and a few stings along the way. My fascination with bees developed further with a local apiarist placing hives on our property chasing ironbark honey. It was not long before I was annoying the beekeeper with questions.

Keeping bees on and off over the years, I kept my interest until I purchased a small property and found time to start keeping bees full time. Ten years ago I started as a supervisor with Valley Industries (supported employment for people with disability) and incorporated my beekeeping knowledge and woodworking skills to create Valley Bee Keeping Supplies. Through this, I made contacts within the industry and DPI furthering my knowledge and interest in bees. Through these contacts, I have received further training enabling me to deliver beekeeping courses for DPI at Tocal College.

My new role with DPI as Bee Biosecurity Officer Surveillance will involve the current National Bee Pest Surveillance Program including sampling to detect any new pest or disease incursion as well as floral sweeping for exotic bees not in NSW. As we move into the new year I will concentrate on education for amateur beekeeping groups as well as the public on the specific needs required to keep bees, registration, the new Biosecurity Act and obligations, bee pest and disease identification.