Our email forms on the site have been playing up this week and not sending on the email addresses of people making enquiries in some cases.
One such case was an enquiry about dead bees on the green. The message read:
Over the last week I have found dozens of bees dead or dying on the greens…. has anyone else found this? and what might have caused it? it is troubling…
Well, as an amateur bee keeper this troubles me too, so any input from readers would be appreciated.
There are a few different possibilities here:
At this time of year when the bees are flat out producing and feeding new brood and storing food for later months, the worker bees only live for about 5 or 6 weeks, by which time they are worn out and die, so if there are hives fairly close to the greens this might be one explanation.
Another possibility is that the weather conditions might not have been suitable for the bees, particularly if it has been colder than normal for the time of year as it has been here in Scotland.
Then its on to more troubling causes, with the various disease and parasite problems that beset bee colonies, such as Varroa mite being uppermost here.
Pesticides are another possibility.
Beyond that there is a very troubling condition which has become known as “Colony Collapse” which has decimated honey bee populations around the world including here in the UK. A definitive cause for this hasn’t yet been identified.
It would be good to get feedback from more experienced beekeepers and anyone else who has some ideas or theories on this.
Meantime, if you are interested in learning more about the problems faced by the honey bee, then there is a very good program on the BBC iPlayer here ,which is available to watch for another 5 days.