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.’’
Shepparton Christian College Year 9 student Aimee Stanyer had a personal motivation to start fundraising for Ronald McDonald House.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
Level crossing upgrades to the Echuca-Bendigo line may be completed next month.
Julie Sands and Sheridan Clark have been kept busy, visiting Rochester recently yo dispense free coats to residents.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram supermarket seeks $10 million expansion, increasing by about a third into adjacent car park area.
Public interest to determine Deniliquin Town Hall refurbishment.
Milk co-operative, Murray Goulburn has posted a record financial result, recording an after tax profit of $29 million.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.