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.’’
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
Jerilderie's born and bred Madeleine Harris has been recognised for her banking and finance career
Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
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.