Mid North Coast beekeepers are holding out spring after losing more than 6000 hives during the March floods.
Local beekeeper, Daryl Brenton of The Beekeeper's Honey, lost 120 beehives in North Haven and Kempsey.
"We had bees working in melaleuca tea-trees in swampy country at North Haven, which coincided with the floods in March," he said.
"We lost 120 bee hives, a whole truckload. It's one twelfth of our operation and we don't have all the hives producing at any one time.
"One hundred and twenty is a lot of hives to any beekeeper. All the bees were drowned, all the frames had to be removed and burnt in a pile.
"In the bee industry there are reports of about 6000 hives being lost in total. Some beekeepers would have lost 240 hives, 30 hives and even part time operations lost eight to 10 hives.
"Everyone got caught (in the floods) because it was so quick and such a surprise. My father has been a commercial beekeeper for 50 years and never had a drowned hive, so that was a first for us for sure."
Mr Brenton said the flooding could result in new growth for the region after years of drought and bushfires.
"There is a promise of spring coming up and there should be more options available to beekeepers because of the rain. I think there will be honey around this year," he said.
"Honey has been short and difficult to get for the last two and a half years, mainly as a result of the widespread drought and bushfires."
Mr Brenton said grants are available from the NSW Rural Assistance Authority to rebuild equipment, similar to those on offer for dairy farmers.
"That service is excellent because after the bushfires 18 months ago it has become impossible to cover beehives under insurance for fires or floods," he said.
"There were so many beekeepers who lost bee boxes in those fires and the insurance companies have decided not to insure bees anymore."
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