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It's official- worst Spring for bees in SA in decades


Last night at the SA Bee Society the discussion was about what an awful spring it has been. very few people are seeing any honey, many are removing their empty supers and colonies are stressed, low on honey and many have chalkbrood. Also the swarm season was noted to be low on swarms. It has been suggested that beekeepers may need to consider feeding hives sugar to help them along.

the reasons are a very dry winter- and then spring rains that were not deep enough- or coincided with winds that blew away the moisture.

It’s not all doom and gloom: my Mum’s hive in semaphore is going nicely and we’ve already made a few harvests with more on the horizon. But my own hives at various locations are just struggling along with little excess honey.

hopefully the summer and autumn will be better.

Any SA beekeepers on the forum having a good/bad season they can report on? Curious to hear what others think.


Will feeding the banana help with the chalk brood?


I don’t know if it works or not- but I have just left two hives with sliced bananas in the attics. i will go back and check on them in a few days- if it cools down (currently around 35c).


Hi Jack,
At my place on Kangaroo Island my bees have been on a good flow, harvested my flowhive a week ago for 20kg, the bees are already refilling it
My langstroth hives are filling fast and plenty of mallee flowering but I hear some of the pros are struggling to fill there big orders of around 5 ton !
Now we have a big fire on the Southside of the Island
Regards brian


I hope the bees eat it or the placement of the banana might need relocating. Tell us if it works too!


Hi Jack, i am in Northern NSW near Tweed Heads & it’s definitely a different spring. It was an unseasonally dry winter.

We’ve a flourishing vegie patch and it’s been so dry that there’s been no slugs eating out strawberries (after 5 yrs if strawberries suddenly heaps of berrries and no slugs - it’s usually the other way around.)

I think my bees swarmed very early late August, and i’ve stressed the bees out so we’ve had no honey at all.


I’m in CHCH NZ but it is also an unproductive spring/summer. We should be in the height of the flow but it is raining most days! Collection is sporadic, then they eat it all to survive… tough times.


I began my Spring splits in July for swarm prevention when the Wattle started to bloom. A very short and mild Winter up here. Some much needed rain over the past month and some hot days. Lots of bush flowers but I think there is not a lot of nectar in them as honey production has slowed.
Cheers Caterina