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Prolonged rain does not make for buzzing bees



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The wet summer weather has left honeybees across the district unable to forage during the peak flower seasons when they usually gather their bounties of nectar to feed their larvae and produce sweet honey.
Prolonged periods of rain since April has meant honey bees across the country have been unable to forage during the peak flowering season when they normally gather plentiful supplies of nectar to feed their broods of larvae and produce honey.
The Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a starvation alert warning that bees are at risk of starving to death due to the poor weather conditions.
Experts from the Government department have advised beekeepers to use emergency supplies sugar, fondant and syrup to try and keep the bees fed well.
A spokesman for the Newbury and District Beekeepers Association, Don Honey, said members had suffered the same problems as their counterparts across the UK in the loss of their colonies, but it was not all bad news.
“If you were the size of a bee imagine what it would be like for you to get hit by a raindrop,” he said.
“However, is a fact that the honey bee was alive and thriving on our planet long before us humans, and they have seen many variations in weather patterns.
“There are pockets of the country that have bucked the trend, possibly due to being in sheltered locations and with a diverse selection of flora.
“Fortunately the one good week of sunshine we had in early July gave the bees a vital opportunity to collect pollen, something that is crucial for feeding of the young larva and the colony’s survival.”
Unless the weather changes it seems inevitable that many bee keepers across the region will endure heavy losses and a shortage will ensue just three years on from problems on the other end of the scale - that of a drought.
In 2009 the worldwide honey harvest fell by 60 per cent due to parched conditions meaning bees had fewer nectar-bearing flowers to buzz around.
For more information about the Newbury and District Beekeepers Association visit



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