PODCAST EPSIODE 72: Crispin Boxhall, Beekeeper and Beekeeping Educator, Petwood, South Australia
As some of you know, the Almond Pollination and Beekeeping Field Day held annually (pre-COVID) at Renmark in South Australia is a real love of mine – it’s kind of a bee-nerd fest, if I am honest. Coming together with a group of passionate, dedicated beekeepers is an absolute delight; I find myself getting into deep and meaningful bee chats and coming home with incredible new information about bees and apiary practices. It was at this incredible field day, three years ago, that I met Crispin Boxhall, a passionate beekeeper and beekeeping educator located in Petwood, South Australia, and I am delighted to introduce him to the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast for episode 72.
This fascinating chat goes in-depth about entomovectoring – a new method being tried out by researchers from the University of Adelaide that, according to an article published on Entomology Today, “uses bees to deliver spores of a parasitic fungus to prevent the fungus that causes the brown rot from colonizing the flower”. What is brown rot you ask? It’s a fungus that attacks cherry trees, ruining the fruit (a simple Google image search on the issue will bring tears to your eyes!), and costing the cherry industry $150 million per year! As Dr. Katja Hogendoorn explains in the article, bees can be used to deliver a separate parasitic fungus to the cherry trees which prevent the brown rot fungus from colonising the flower. It is this process that is known as entomovectoring, and if the method is proven successful, it could be used instead if spraying insecticides. Incredible news!
It turns out that Crispin has great insight into this fascinating new method of controlling brown rot, and it was a total joy to learn more about this process through our chat! Tune in to hear Crispin and I chat about the fantastic Renmark Almond Pollination and Beekeeping Field Day, his beekeeping and bee education business in Petwood, and to learn more about the fascinating process of entomovectoring.