PODCAST EPISODE 60: Liz Frost, Technical Specialist of Bees and co-manager of Plan B, Hunter region, New South Wales, Australia
There are a lot of people in the bee world who do amazing work, but every now and then you come across someone who truly blows you away. Liz Frost is undoubtedly one of those humans and I am thrilled to introduce her to the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast for episode 60. Hailing from California, now residing in the Hunter region of NSW, Liz has worked in the United States and Australia in honeybee breeding and insemination and has a special ability to reflect on her experiences in the field. In a poem written for the publication 2 Million Blossoms, she aptly described the devastation of the bushfires that had been ravaging the area where she lived for some six months in 2019–2020; highlighting the resilience of the apiarists who “press on in secret… Tracking any budding trees left alive.” In this poem and its accompanying essay, she perfectly conjures the connection between beekeepers and the land, not to mention the vital role bees play is rejuvenating the environment after disasters such as this one.
Liz Frost’s CV is a brilliant manifesto of love for bees and the environment. She has had innumerable roles in the field both locally and overseas and is now working for the New South Wales Department or Primary Industries as a Technical Specialist of bees. In parallel and as part of her role, she is the co-manager of Plan Bee—the National Honey Bee Genetic Improvement Program run in collaboration with USYD, UNE and AGBU—Better Bees WA and the Wheen Bee Foundation—funded by DAWE Rural R&D for Profit Program. Her job involves managing research and development projects focusing on queen bee breeding and pollination, and providing technical advice to the beekeeping industry, government, researchers, media and the public.
Her current project Plan Bee: Australia’s National Honey Bee Genetic Improvement Program is a program that Liz co-manages with University of Sydney professor Dr. Nadine Chapman, whose research interest includes establishing “an economically sustainable national genetic improvement program using innovative breeding technologies to transform the performance of honey bees in Australia.” And that is what Liz and Nadine are doing with Plan B, as they evaluate and implement tools, technologies and systems to better honeybee breeding programs in Australia—amazing and inspiring work! AND excitingly, the Plan B Info Workshop for queen breeders is happening in just a few days on 2 July 2021. For further information on the event, make sure you check out the AgriFutures Australia website
Tune in to hear the inspiring Liz Frost and I chat about how she is helping to improve breeding programs for bees in Australia.