News

Beekeepers hit with big losses as bees turn up dead

Luke Page with some of his Bee's outside of Murwillumbah.
Luke Page with some of his Bee's outside of Murwillumbah. Blainey Woodham

HONEY producers are facing an environmental disaster with hives being destroyed or abandoned - and some are blaming the crisis on pesticides.

Murwillumbah horticulturist Luke Page cultivated bees for the past 18 months and believes his hives were affected by bug sprays.

"Recently I found a hive and all that was left of the bees was their skeletons.

"The bee is dead on the inside and the outside, and that's consistent with pesticide poisoning," he said.

He has ruled out all growers in Tweed bar corn because they are sprayed daily.

Black beetle traps set inside Mr Page's hives.
Black beetle traps set inside Mr Page's hives. Blainey Woodham

Mr Page admits the reason for the death of his bees is based on speculation, but his suspicions were confirmed by others in the region.

"I have spoken to a gentleman in Pottsville and he had hives go in a similar way."

Adding to complexity, farmers say they are using pesticides which are perfectly legal.

"We spray Australian standard pesticides first thing in the morning, when there is no breeze, so bees don't get into it," Cugden corn farmer Ross Julius said.

However, as of late, bee keepers who normally bring hives as a pollination service, in-kind for nectar, have not visited Mr Julius' property.

"You'd have to ask them why they don't bring their hives anymore," he told the Daily News.

Doug Paddon, another grower from Cudgen, says to prevent bee deaths farmers must be strategic.

"I have wild bees in a shed to pollinate many crops. When they're active I don't spray and when they're dormant I do spray, but only at night when other bees are not working."

The Daily News' community paper, the Tweed Border Mail, reported this week a devastation of Australian honey bees following a feral beetle infestation, climate change and disappearing disease.

Mr Page with some of his hives.
Mr Page with some of his hives. Blainey Woodham

Did you know?

Scientists are gluing GPS microchips onto honey bees to study "disappearing disease", a colony collapse disorder in which hives are abruptly abandoned

Topics:  bees, honey



Nicholl finds rhythm for Australia

Nicholl competing at the INS ISA World Surfing Games in Costa Rica.

Surfer flies flag for Australia.

The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Latest deals and offers

That's a wrap: Gympie Muster celebrates 35 years in style

Caitlyn Shadbolt performs at the Muster Club on Sunday August 28 at the Gympie Muster.

Country music festival blessed with great weather and bumper crowds

Julia and Sasha top The Block's leaderboard

Julia and Sasha in their winning master en-suite in a scene from The Block.

FIRST room reveals of the season deliver mixed results.

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m