Rural

Everyone helps to keep the hive cool

David Dubens, bee keeper, from Wilson Creek, holding a frame with bees and honey. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star
David Dubens, bee keeper, from Wilson Creek, holding a frame with bees and honey. Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / The Northern Star Mireille Merlet-Shaw

BEE keepers across the Northern Rivers worked harder than normal today to keep their bees alive and well during the hot weather.

One of them was David Dubens of Wilsons Creek, 8.6km west of Mullumbimby.

"Beehives need to stay at a temperature between 32 and 36 degrees. If it gets any hotter than that the hive will literally melt," he said.

Mr Dubens owns 50 beehives at this property at Wilsons Creek and another 50 in Lennox Head, with the most established beehives containing an estimated 50,000 bees.

"On really hot days a number of bees need to fly away and find water. Bees cannot land on water, they need to land in wet sand, rocks or a plant, and ingest the water to then bring it into the hive."

The water then evaporates from within the bees to help cool down the hive.

"Hundreds of bees then line up at the bottom and around the frame of the hive and will literally fan towards the inside of the hive with their wings," the beekeeper said.

Some beekeepers need to ensure there is a litre of water available for each of their beehives per day.

Topics:  bees, lennox head, wilsons creek


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