Peter William Warhurst is one of the recipients of a Distinguished Past Students Award for 2017.

Peter graduated with a Diploma in Horticulture in 1963 from the then Gatton College before completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at The University of Queensland in 1971.

Peter has devoted a lifetime to both horticultural and bee-keeping industries in Queensland.  First, as a Technologist with the Queensland Inspection Service.  He then spent the rest of his career as an Apiary Officer to the Queensland bee industry where he made invaluable contributions to both through his applied research, extension and industry liaison, and guidance.

He carried out extension and research in the bee industry to improve its sustainability, profitability and protection from disease and insect incursions. He also undertook research in the United States and United Kingdom. His experience in government policy and legislation helped the Bee Industry Consultative Committee navigate multi government departments and the authorities it impacted.

Peter’s ultimate contribution to the bee industry was to co-author ‘The Bee Book: beekeeping in the warmer areas of Australia’, revised as ‘The Bee Book: beekeeping in Australia’, with his colleague, Roger Goebel. This “bible of Australian beekeeping” was recognised with second place in the publications category at the World Beekeeping Awards.  The Awards were held as part of the 2007 Apimondia (the International Federation of Beekeeping Associations) in Melbourne and the publication remains the go-to manual for Australian beekeeping.

He continues to serve the bee keeping industry as a technical advisor and member of the Industry Management Committee, long after his official retirement from the Department of Agriculture.