HONEY producers are urging the state government to allow them greater access to national parks and conservation areas for their hives, while other prime areas recover from devastating bushfires.
NSW Apiarists' Association president Stephen Targett said that, "with over four million hectares of mostly forest country burnt out ... there will be minimal food sources that we can move to".
The group has called for an urgent meeting with the NSW Deputy Premier to talk about the assistance measures the industry needs after the extreme bushfires across the state's east.
"We have lost thousands of hives and, in a large number of cases, the field bees have been killed but the hives have survived," Mr Targett said.
"For those hives that have survived, we have lost our autumn and winter food source, particularly in the south of the state ...
"It's important that we keep alive the remaining hives until we can find alternative nectar and pollen sources for our bees, which is not easy in this drought."
Mr Targett said beekeepers "really appreciate the rapid response" from the NSW Department of Primary Industries, which had supplied sugar supplements.
However, this was only a short-term solution, as the supplements were "not good for the bees' survival in the medium and long term".
Loomberah apiarist Ifan Martin said things were "really not going too fantastically at the minute", between drought, fires and poor air quality.
He said bees "aren't like other livestock" and required special measures in difficult times.
"You can't really take bees to a saleyard; when things get tough, you've got to do something."
Mr Targett said the association asked for "temporary access to unburnt national parks and state conservation areas over autumn and winter until we see substantial regrowth of the forests".
"This may take a number of years and will depend on whether the trees shoot again or regrow as seedlings.
"This will need to be assessed annually until there is recovery of these forests.
"We hope the NSW government will agree to allow us to use these areas to avert a crisis not only for the bee and honey industries, but also for our multibillion-dollar state horticulture and nut industries."