Bees and Irene on the East coast.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Iddee, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

    "David R. Tarpy" <david_tarpy@ncsu.edu> wrote:
    Dear extension agents with apiculture responsibilities,

    As you are keenly aware, particularly those of you on the coastal plain, the impending arrival of hurricane Irene poses some significant challenges. When it comes to honey bees, there are some issues to keep in mind both before and after the storm has passed. If your local beekeeper clientele inquire, here are some things to pass along.

    First, make sure hive equipment is secured to resist strong winds. A simple brick on the top lid is likely to be insufficient to keep the lid from flying off in winds above 50 mph. A lidless hive can cause problems for the bees by introducing moisture and letting heat escape. Strapping the lid down or securing with duct tape might be in order, particularly for outlying yards. The same is true for hive boxes, particularly if they are relatively new (i.e., the bees have not yet propolized them together sufficiently).

    Second, be sure to have the hives on sturdy stands or level ground. Entire beehives can be blown over by strong winds, particularly when they are fairly tall with many honey supers or are otherwise top heavy. If the hives are on tall or insecure stands, you can move them onto (dry) level ground temporarily to lessen the chances that they topple.

    Third, make sure the hives are not in low-lying areas or those prone to flooding. River banks can be useful apiary locations because of their proximity to fresh water, but in flooding conditions entire apiaries can be tragically swept away. Be sure to move any beehives in flood plains until the waters have subsided. Beehives on the ground but in recessed areas can cause water to flood the entrances and may even suffocate the bees if not given an upper entrance.

    Finally, following heavy rains like hurricanes, various state agencies have traditionally sprayed regions with stagnant water to contr ol mosquito outbreaks. Such insecticides can be extremely problematic for honey bees. If you are registered through the NCDA&CS, you will be contacted directly if your beehives are in an area schedule to be sprayed. If you are not registered, however, the state has no means to notify you and your bees may be at risk to insecticide exposure. More information about mosquito abatement programs and how beekeepers can mitigate their problems for their bees can be found at:

    http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/api ... quito.html

    After the storm has passed, also be sure to check on the integrity of all beehives to ensure that they weathered the storm.

    Be safe, and let me know if you have any questions. Sincerely, David



    ******************************
    David R. Tarpy
    Associate Professor and Extension Apiculturist
    Department of Entomology, Campus Box 7613
    North Carolina State University
    Raleigh, NC 27695-7613
    TEL: (919) 515-1660
    FAX: (919) 515-7746
    CELL: (919) 218-4084
    LAB: (919) 513-7702
    WEB: http://entomology.ncsu.edu/apiculture
    EMAIL: david_tarpy@ncsu.edu