Bees, dust storms, and bush fires
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    39

    Default Bees, dust storms, and bush fires

    What should I expect to happen and what should I do? Are my bees likely to abscond?

    It is summer here in Australia and we are breaking record high temperatures every other week. We have been in drought for a few years, this year little has flowered and my hives were not gaining any weight. We have had more dust storms in this area in the past six months than in the past 20 or so years. For the past five or six weeks we have had smoke from fires, some days it is so dense I can't see my back fence. It is unlikely that the smoke will clear any time soon.

    The other week a hive gained a lot of weight. As there are so few flowers I can only assume someone else's hive either died or absconded and mine robbed them out.

    Are my bees likely to abscond due to the continuing smoke? Is there anything I can do other than monitoring them and feeding if they get too low in stores?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,252

    Default Re: Bees, dust storms, and bush fires

    They won't abscond due to smoke.

    All you can do is the normal stuff such as feed if needed.

    And of course, have them where they won't get burned, ie, keep the grass down, and move them if need be, better moved than lost. If you have access to somewhere already burned, put them there. If you just have a wooden lid put a tin lid over it.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,591

    Default Re: Bees, dust storms, and bush fires

    Bees tend to shelter in place when there is fire. Ask the guy who was keeping hives on the roof of Notre Dame. His bees stayed put and survived.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Bees, dust storms, and bush fires

    Horrible what you are all dealing with in Australia TurtleSpider. I would buy a lot of sugar on sale and keep feeding. I suppose the challenge is to make sure they have adequate stores but not so much so they go honey bound and attempt to swarm. Best of luck. J

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Bees, dust storms, and bush fires

    Thanks for the replies. This is very reassuring. I can't move my hives but there is no grass this year, just dirt.

    I have been really lucky so far. It is hot and smokey but no real danger yet, but who knows what will happen from here. In my state alone there have already been over 1,300 houses lost and the fire season has barely begun.

    On that note, if anyone wants to donate money PLEASE be careful and do some research first! There are a lot of thieves trying to cash in on this. There are fake "go fund me" pages for people who have died, there are people hacking into emails and asking for money, there are people pretending to be from charities etc. I have even heard stories of people dressed as the volunteer fire brigade going from house to house telling people to evacuate, then robbing that street once everyone is gone. Be very careful if you plan to donate money here.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Pleasant Valley, NY
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Bees, dust storms, and bush fires

    So sorry to hear what is happening to you all in Australia with these wild fires and extremely hot temps. As said above, feed as they need, plenty of water next to the hives and shelter from direct sunlight. Clear away any material that would catch fire adjacent to the hives to give a good barrier.
    Good luck to you and your fellow Australians.

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