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Flood Risk to Honey Bees and April Showers


By the beginning of April, spring should be well on the way, and the hive building up to take advantage of the main nectar flow across the summer. Spring flowers will provide pollen and nectar to feed the young for the large numbers of workers needed later on.




April is famed for showers. Sometimes heavy showers. Sometimes downpours!

How do small flying birds cope? What about smaller flying creatures like Izzie, our honey bee?


When it rains, bees tend to stay in the hive. They could fly when the rain is very light, but not in heavy rain. Bees out foraging in a sudden shower will head for home, or if far away caught in torrential rain, they will try to find cover.

Flood risk to honey bees and April shows: Izzie Lizzie Busy Bee book for children
Flood risk to honey bees and April shows: Izzie Lizzie Busy Bee book for children

What happened to Izzie in our book? She wan't close to the hive when the storm broke. We see her sheltering under a leaf until it was safe to fly again.


Meanwhile the heavy and prolonged rain cascaded down the hillside, the stream burst its banks, and the apiary flooded.


Bees can't protect their nest from being waterlogged, they rely on the beekeeper to site the hive somewhere safe.


Luckily for Izzie and her sisters, their hives in the apiary were on legs which kept them above the water level. This time.


Flash floods are more common in our changing climate, and are not the only extremes of weather the beekeeper has to protect their hives from. You may notice bricks or huge heavy stones sometimes placed on top of a beehive. This is to keep them stable in strong winds. Hives even need to be tied down in areas prone to tornados or hurricanes.




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