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Heat takes toll on bees

By Alice Roberts, Monday December 3, 2012 - 15:30 EDT
Audience submitted image
Bees are looking to keep cool too (file photo). - Audience submitted

As Queenslanders try to beat the heat, bees are also doing their best to stay cool.

Some Queensland bees have been struggling with the current hot spell.

When temperatures hit the 40s, hives sag, honey melts and bees can drown.

However, Queensland Beekeepers Association spokesman Trevor Weatherhead says the insects have a way of combating the heat.

Mr Weatherhead says they have perfected their own natural air-conditioning system.

"What bees do is they go and collect water, bring it back, place it within the hive and then they set up a fanning system where they sort of suck air in one side of the hive and hail it out the other," he said.

"If they get overheated, then the comb and the honey within the hive sags and then the honey just runs down and usually drowns the bees."

Many beekeepers will be moving their much-loved insects into the shade and looking forward to an end to the scorching weather conditions.


© ABC 2012

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