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These fires are huge. Totaling over several million acres!

We live over 2 hours drive away from the main fire in Victoria and we have had thick smoke for the last few days. People finding it harder to breathe and getting sore eyes.
 

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Read Ron Miskas blog on it, Bad Beekeeping Blog, it is completely overwhelming the devastation there on all living people and animals. My heart cry’s with them all.
 

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These fires are huge. Totaling over several million acres!

We live over 2 hours drive away from the main fire in Victoria and we have had thick smoke for the last few days. People finding it harder to breathe and getting sore eyes.
I am so sorry that is happening to your Country and family Matt. You all are in my prayers.
 

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There are a lot of scammers over here taking advantage of the situation.
That really does beggar belief ... Bar-stewards.

Although it's difficult to focus on matters other than the immediate risk to, and loss of life and property, one aspect of this catastrophe which has been gnawing away at me is - how will the wildlife which has survived the fire, manage to continue to survive within such a fire-ravaged environment ?

In particular - and keeping this 'forum-related' - how will honeybee colonies survive when there will be nothing amongst the ashes for a good while yet for them to forage from ?

I'd suggest stocking-up on pollen (natural if you can get it - substitute if not), as well as serious amounts of sugar for long-term feeding, for anyone within or bordering on any of the fire-zones.
Best wishes to everyone affected.
LJ
 

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Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

A slow and steady rain is what is needed and the drought to end. We have had a little bit of rain last day or so, but much more is needed.

Yes, the amount of animals that have been killed is concerning. As well as lack of food and water for those who have managed to survive and many stock have had to be put down. So it may take quite some time for animals to move back into some areas.

Australian plants are better able to cope with bushfires and it is amazing how fast things start growing back after some rain. (But that is if the fire hasn't been too hot and too slow moving.) It still takes weeks to see the new green shoots, but there won't be flowers for some time.

The issue is the amount of scrub and fuel that has been allowed to build up over many years, as well as the bush being so dry because of the 3 year drought. The Aboriginals used to do regular cool burns, which burnt patches of bush when it was wet. So bushfires were not so large or intense.

Indigenous land management included using fire to regenerate flora. ... “Fire can be used for one of three outcomes. The first, to encourage native grasses to regenerate and produce new feed, the second to reduce scrub and fuel to prevent intense bushfires, and thirdly to promote biodiversity,” Bill said.
https://landcareaustralia.org.au/project/traditional-aboriginal-burning-modern-day-land-management/
 

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Investigation why nearly 200 arson cases involving these fires! Hot, dry and a greenie with a box of matches makes life rough.
 

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Indigenous land management included using fire to regenerate flora. ... “Fire can be used for one of three outcomes. The first, to encourage native grasses to regenerate and produce new feed, the second to reduce scrub and fuel to prevent intense bushfires, and thirdly to promote biodiversity,” Bill said.
https://landcareaustralia.org.au/project/traditional-aboriginal-burning-modern-day-land-management/
It seems as though some of our states are finally seeing the wisdom of fire management. The forest service here in Arkansas has been doing prescribed burns for longer than I have lived here.
It is amazing how quickly things come back after a little rain.

I hope you get some rain soon.
Alex
 

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A note to Matt and other Aussie beekeepers in fire areas from me who lost all in the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, California in December of 2017 - Get as many native seeds as you can get your hands on and scatter them in the most appropriate soil you can find in those fire areas as soon as possible, especially your bees' favorites. Help the plants out the first 2 or 3 years by hand watering if necessary. After a bloom or two, the wind and the rain will speed the recovery. Try to get full advantage of the rains.

I have my money where my mouth is - I'm North of the fires, and growing trees to take back down South next year.

Do set up a crowdfunding effort for your bees' recovery while the emotion is still fresh in everyone's hearts. Best of luck, and my wishes for your speedy recovery.
 

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Vance, that is misinformation.
The figure is for all of 2019, with just over half being from Queensland, which include breaches of Total Fire Bans.

https://amp.theguardian.com/austral...ggerating-arsons-role-in-australian-bushfires

Yes, the arson stuff was quickly and thoroughly debunked.

I did recall reading an article in Beeculture that discussed how the previous years droughts and this years spring drought had affected the bees. Even before the fires, they had been doing poorly as nectar was scarce. So, the combined effect of droughts and now fires are a tremendous setback. I also didn't realize how much almond pollination there was in Australia so when you look at how quickly one thing affects another the result in devastating. I just can't imagine how bad it is even watching the news.
 

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Do set up a crowdfunding effort for your bees' recovery while the emotion is still fresh in everyone's hearts. Best of luck, and my wishes for your speedy recovery.
and post it here so we know it's legit and can help out
 

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What I like about the rural aid site is that it was set up by the Australian Honey Bee Industrial Council so I'm more comfortable knowing money will go where it needs to go. This is directed to pro beekeepers.

Also looking into wireswildliferescue.org for the general animal population.
 

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Yes, the arson stuff was quickly and thoroughly debunked.

I did recall reading an article in Beeculture that discussed how the previous years droughts and this years spring drought had affected the bees. Even before the fires, they had been doing poorly as nectar was scarce. So, the combined effect of droughts and now fires are a tremendous setback. I also didn't realize how much almond pollination there was in Australia so when you look at how quickly one thing affects another the result in devastating. I just can't imagine how bad it is even watching the news.
The debunked arson matter is back up to forty fresh arrests.
 

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Prayers have been answered.

We have had a decent amount of rain in south eastern Australia and many of the bushfire affected areas.
Some places have even had flooding. Others have had hailstones as large as golf balls.

Because of the smoke temperatures have been lower than normal.
Some plants that usually flower in November have some flowers on them again!

Looks like there won't be a summer dearth in my area, but our hottest temperatures are usually in February. Hopefully there won't be many more bushfires this season.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the regrowth of the bush now.
 
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