News

Heat struck hives wiped out in eco-disaster

Chris Fuller from Kin Kin Native Bees and Dr Tim Heard of the CSIRO, with a surviving hive of stingless native bees at Landcare Nursery.
Chris Fuller from Kin Kin Native Bees and Dr Tim Heard of the CSIRO, with a surviving hive of stingless native bees at Landcare Nursery. Glenbo Craig

GYMPIE region orchardists and croppers are facing a New Year environmental crisis after extreme heat wiped out millions of the bees they depend on for pollination.

Only months after Gympie region bee men led the move to recruit new beekeepers into an industry decimated by chemical and insect pests, a new crisis has emerged.

This time, the threat is a shortage of the native bees which have helped replace the vital pollination work of domestic honeybees.

Gympie apiarist Glenbo Craig yesterday warned that recent extreme heat "has impacted dramatically on native stingless bees over a wide area".

At an individual level, some bee keepers have lost many thousands of dollars worth of native hives.

"MANY hives have been lost and others weakened.

"Reports of major losses are still flowing in, with quite a number of keepers losing over half their hives," Gympie apiarist Glenbo Craig said yesterday.

"Operators in the native bee industry are very concerned," he said.

Glenbo and his father Athol warned last year of the need for more bee keepers to fulfil the vital pollination role of the industry.

The emergence of a native bee pollination industry was boosted by the honeybee crisis.

They warned bee shortages would slash yields of fruit, nuts and fruit-vegetables such as zucchinis, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, tomatoes and avocadoes.

Gympie region's increasingly significant macadamia industry is also heavily dependent on bees, including native bees, which the Craigs say work well in conjunction with honeybees to maximise pollination.

Glenbo Craig said that with hives selling for between $200 and $400 each, one stingless beekeeper in Brisbane had lost 56 out of his 70 hives.

"In Maryborough, one beekeeper lost 15 out of 20 hives.

"I'm hearing from people who've lost four out of five, 14 out of 24 and 10 out of 20 hives," he said.

Local native beekeeper and educator, Chris Fuller of Kin Kin Native Bees, had a message on his business telephone yesterday that the hive selling side of his family business had no stock at the moment.

Athol and Glenbo Craig channelled their concerns into forming Valley Bees, a Gympie-based network aimed at encouraging bee keepers of all kinds.

Glenbo Craig told The Gympie Times this week that the native bee crisis would be a big item at the group's annual general meeting, tomorrow at Kandanga Hall from 1.30pm.

"People have had big losses and we don't want the lessons to be wasted.

"We want to collate the information from these drastic losses," he said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  bees heat pollination



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Driver suffers serious injuries in Curra car crash

A man has received serious injuries after a car crash at Curra.

A man has received serious injuries after a car crash at Curra.

A night of glitz and glamour

HIGH FASHION: Karen Bazzan, Sara Shadbolt and Chantelle Groben at Gympie's fashion event of the year on Mary St Friday night.

Fashionistas strut their stuff

Century 21 debuts new $35,000 auction room

Billy Mitchell takes a quick break from the action as Century 21 Platinum Agents debuts its new auction room behind him.

Century 21 has celbrated the opening of their new auction room.

Local Partners

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

Weaving stars to end violence

STAR WEAVE JAM: Join in and make stars as part of the One Million Stars project to end violence in the world

Check out these great activities on now at the gallery

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

The apple and the worm

Gympie journalist Arthur Gorrie.

Progress leaps along, so let's look first

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!