[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″ offset=”vc_col-lg-1/5 vc_col-md-1/5 vc_col-xs-1/5″][us_image image=”86546″ size=”thumbnail” align=”left” style=”circle” has_ratio=”1″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/12″ offset=”vc_col-lg-4/5 vc_col-md-4/5 vc_col-xs-4/5″][vc_column_text]By Karlene Brummer[/vc_column_text][us_post_date][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Primary producer, apiarist and all round lovable larrikin, John “Pa” Christie is yet another of our rural farmers who has been devastated by the destruction of his seven hives at Canoelands Orchard by the Department of Primary Industries due to the current varroa mite incursion.
While there was no evidence of the varroa mite in his bee colony, as his orchard was deemed to be in the “Red Zone” it was an au fait accompli that his hives must be destroyed. The impact of the loss of hundreds of thousands of pollinating bees is yet to be felt, and will only be able to be measured in November when fruit trees begin to crop.
The Christie family has been farming the site in Canoelands Road since the 1920’s with John’s father being the first person to introduce the Palmette System (or ‘Fan’) style of growing fruit trees in Australia, which is similar to espaliering, allowing for a better crop yield and providing optimum light to the trees.
Canoelands Orchard has withstood many disasters in its 100 years of operation- including fire and floods – but the annihilation of the bees could be one of the worst things to happen, as there has been no precedent set and the outcome of future fruit production is unknown.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]