Vince Ingold reckons he can get through the next year but after that it's another story.
The apiarist, whose property at Pointer Mountain north of Ulladulla was swept by the New Year's fire, lost millions of bees, hives and honey and faces a huge clean-up.
"I just got all the hives requeened for the start of the season. That was a big job because we had trouble this year because there wasn't enough queens around," he says.
He hasn't yet worked out the financial hit his business has taken - he's simply been too busy cleaning up.
"The first thing we need is some decent rain," he says.
"I've put my hand out to the state government to get some sugar to make up some syrup to supplement feed the bees that are left but that's only for a short period of time."
Beyond that, he would like to see the national parks which haven't been burned opened up for beekeepers. But even if that were to happen, he fears the big producers would likely swarm all over the parks, leaving little room for apiarists like himself.
"Us little fellas won't even get a look-in."
Vince says 8000 bee sites have been locked up in national parks. Keepers are now desperate, which presents other problems when they're all searching for flowering gums beyond the park boundaries.
"If you've got a small pocket of trees flowering, every man and his dog is going to be on it. So you're going to have a disease problem. We've got to get back to the old ways, where we spread out over a wide area."
Honey sourced from flowering gum trees was already becoming scarce before the fires and will, in Vince's reckoning, all but disappear for up to two decades.
"People don't realise the gum trees have gone, for 15 or 20 years," he says.
The hives he has out west have been hit hard by drought.
"We only got one crack at one floral gum, which was grey ironbark. We're praying for rain so we can get on some Patterson's curse, canola and thistle in the spring."
For the foreseeable future the honey industry will have to rely on ground flora. Much of Vince's stockpile of honey was destroyed in the blaze, leaving him with 12 months' supply.
"But after that we've got nothing . We don't know where our future is," the 56-year-old said.
He and his daughter Rachel stayed to defend their property and watched the hives go up. They also saw the drums of honey explode, sending lids hundreds of metres into the air. The house they have been building also got damaged. None of it was insured.
It's not just his future he's worried about but that of the whole planet.
"We're here to look after society with pollination and food production.They do say if bees disappear we've only got four years of life on the planet."