Some beekeepers are feeding their bees sugar water to keep them alive.LAURA GRIFFIN February 26, 2013 4:04am
Bees across Victoria are producing so little honey that some beekeepers have to feed hives sugar syrup to keep them alive, Victorian Apiarists’ Association vice-president Kevin MacGibbon said.
He said this alarming situation had ramifications for bee survival, honey production and crop pollination.
Mr MacGibbon has fed sugar syrup to the smaller of his 200 beehives, that are mainly in forests across north-east Victoria.
‘‘I’ve only had to feed syrup to keep bees alive one other season, in the late 1970s,’’ the Nalinga-based beekeeper said.
He said some small hives were not populous enough and did not have enough food to enable them to collect water to hydrate the hive, which was vital for maintaining the 34°C required for young bees to pupate.
The third generation beekeeper said the state’s hot, dry weather meant there were not enough flowering plants to support the bees.
‘‘Normally, the season runs from September through to mid-April. There was a little flush from canola early this season and since then we have had virtually no honey production, until last week,’’ Mr MacGibbon said.
‘‘It’s been pretty desperate for the last six to eight weeks statewide.
‘‘There was a bit of honey produced in south-west Victoria and up in the north-west when the temperatures weren’t too hot. Bees were dying when it was very hot.’’
Mr MacGibbon said the sluggish start to the season meant beekeepers had only six weeks to see bees store enough honey for them to survive winter and maybe produce a surplus.
‘‘Low honey production will probably affect prices.’’
He said that could increase pressure for supermarkets to import ‘‘poor quality products from some Asian countries’’.
He said there were also serious implications for crops reliant on bees for pollination.
‘‘Australian honey production has a value of about $90
Mr MacGibbon gave the example of about 110
‘‘If there are no bees, there will be no nuts.’’
Organisers of the Challenge Shepparton triathlon will donate half the entry fees from entrants in the ‘community team challenge’ to the Community Fund Goulburn Valley.
Jake Thompson has an eagle eye and a steady hand and he put both to good use recently when he won the U15 Australian Snooker Championships, held in Adelaide.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
COMMITTEE for Echuca Moama revealed Monash University as the consultant for its homeless reference group on Friday last week, reinvigorating one of the committee’s key strategies; to combat Echuca-Moama’s homelessness.
PLANS are in full swing for the 18th annual Farm and Road Safety Expo in Rochester.
Merrigum’s rise to prominence in the Kyabram District League premiership battle reached new heights in Saturday’s 16th round when it became the first side to lower Avenel’s colours this season.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
HEATHCOTE is being swamped by Pokémon and wannabe trainers, armed with smart phones and iPads, who are trying to catch ‘em all.
Children have been treated to a journey through their imaginations while being encouraged to unleash their inner writers at Barooga Library.
Sixteen local students competed at the NSW PSSA and CHS State Cross Country Championships in Sydney.
SPC will abolish its internal sales team and reduce executive numbers in the latest chapter of the company’s ongoing restructuring.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.