Mr Hogan has been farming for 40 years, producing everything from angora goats to apples. His family have steadily developed their avocado farm in Alstonville, northern New South Wales over the past two decades.
“We have a 4ha certified organic farm with 450 avocado trees, 85 custard apple trees and 60 vanilla bean vines,” he said.
The Hogans’ farm supports more than a hundred native beehives and 50 honey beehives. Together, these bees provide essential pollination services for their avocados, custard apples and vanilla beans.
Mike Hogan says pollinators are vital to a healthy environment, food security and thriving farm economies, making bee friendly agricultural practices crucial.
“Looking after the bees is looking after ourselves, and giving back to the environment. A lack of bees means a lack of pollination… In my line of business, if you don’t have the bees you’re not going to make any money.” he said.
The Hogans have implemented several bee-friendly practices on their property, including planting for biodiversity. Coffee, sunflowers, peanuts, Lilly Pillies and Himalayan Magnolias are just some of the plants they’ve added to help pollinators.
Mike Hogan is encouraged by positive changes within Australia’s farming community to help pollinators, including a shift toward integrated pest management to reduce chemicals and sprays.
He believes the Australian launch of the Bee Friendly Farming program is an exciting development for Australian farmers.
“As part of coming on board they get certified as a bee friendly farm. There are certain criteria that they have to meet…It’s not arduous, it’s working with nature for nature.”
To learn more, or to register to become a Bee Friendly Farming certified farm or garden, find out more.
Editor’s Note: Mike Hogan is available for interview. For more information, contact Penny Smits on 0424 702 271 or firstname.lastname@example.org