South Gippsland Beekeepers

September 2019 Newsletter
Edition: #80
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President's Report

It's September. It's Spring. Father's Day is done and dusted for another year. Happy Father's Day to all the dads!

There's no Father's Day gifts in the world of bees. Poor old dad will never get to see his thousands of daughters break out of their eggs, demanding constant 24/7 attention as they go through many stages of development, some rather, well, awkward'ish. You know, we've all been there; we all went through times when we looked slightly 'icky'. No, dad won't get to share any of that with the sisters and half-sisters. But he can rest easy in the knowledge that none of these kids are going to be allowed to lounge around and sponge off the grown ups. From the moment they can walk, at 21 days, they will be hounded with chore after chore, no sooner perfecting one that being shunted off to another. Then when they are cleared to go out into the big wide world at about 36 days, they will have to work even harder. They won't complain about it either, basically because no one is listening. I think there's a lesson there somewhere.
RIP all the bee dads, your girls have turned out pretty much perfect!

Congratulations to Steve Lovie, our second recipient of the Howard Steven's Award for the Most Valuable Member of the South Gippsland Beekeepers. I'm sure you will all agree Steve is most deserving of the award. It was a delight to have Lucy Stevens to present the award and Debbie Lovie in attendance to proudly watch proceedings.

The award presentation was followed with a short Bio-Security questionnaire which was most informative and thought provoking with a tricky question or two thrown in.
From there Peter Gatehouse took over with a summary of Spring Hive Opening. Thanks Pete, now we just have to wait for the weather to cooperate long enough so that we can get in and see how our hives have fared over this cold rainy winter. 

Don't forget to get your phone out whenever you can to record hive and bee 'stuff'. Every now and then there's a pearler of an image caught and I'm more than happy to put any interesting pics into the newsletters, not necessarily all pearlers. Just email me. Thanks.

See you at the September meeting 
Happy Beekeeping


2019 Calendar

SGB Meeting


Meeting: Thursday September 12th 7:30pm
Speaker: Julian Walker - Swarms, control and capture.

Meeting: Thursday October 10th 7:30pm
Speaker: Ally Driessen - Apiary Officer 
Bio-Security Code of Practice - Spending time at the Almond Orchards & Q & A
SGB Beginners Corner

Will be running again next meeting and all meetings until the end of the year.
From 7:00pm-7:25pm on meeting nights

Friday September 13th - 7.00pm

Beginner Beekeeping Course and BOOKINGS


Saturday September 14th 
Excursion to Heronswood and Austplant in Dromana
There is still time to book for the bus - but hurry!!
Heronswood pics below
VAA Field Day - Harcourt
Harcourt Leisure Centre
October 13th 2019 10am - 3.30pm


Order queen bees prior to the Field Day if you are wanting these -
Please contact Max 03 5446 7911
It is not too late yet for people to hire a trade stall site. Indoor sites are $30 (1 trestle) or $60 more than one trestle. Outdoor sites are $20 (ute sized) or $40 large site. However at this stage indoor sites are almost all booked.
Please EMAIL Carol Mauder

Frame Storage & Transportation

Frames can be very heavy and messy to transport from hives to your working area. They can also be a nuisance to store correctly to discourage infestation of pests or destruction from rats, mice or possums etc.
The inexpensive tubs shown below are an excellent solution to both of these problems.
These ones, in particular, were in the Wonthaggi Regect Shop but lots of other discount places have them, even Op Shops may have them on occasion. You need to know the size of your frames though so if you're shopping for tubs make sure you take your tape measure with you.
Generally you need to allow about 50cm for the long side of the box and 25cm for the height. The shorter side of the box will determine how many frames you can get in there. 
Boxes on the left are 55lt. Boxes on right are 60lt.
Both will fit approx 8 full sized Langstroth frames.
55lt is made of stronger plastic than 60lt.
55lt price is normally $13
60lt price is $14
55lt has clip-on lid. 60lt has a lid which sits over lugs.
The box on the left seals well only when clips are in place.
The box on the right seals well without clips but could be easily dislodged in-transit or by nosey interlopers.

Be Kind to Your Back

The items below could save you from lots of bother when working on your hives.
1: A plain old plastic garden chair. If you need to spend any time searching frames eg for the queen and your back or shoulders aren't happy about the whole thing then sitting in a chair whilst resting your elbows on the armrests is a perfect solution. 
2:  Hives can be put on small tables in place of bricks or a pallet to raise the hive off the ground. This eliminates a lot of repetitive bending and is a real back-saver, particularly if you're spending a long time checking a number of hives.
3: I A wheelbarrow is useful for bringing extra bits and pieces eg boxes, frames etc., to your hives. This is also an ideal transportation method for taking bulky or heavy items back to the shed from the hives.
4: A foldable trolley is easy to pop into the back of your car to transport items to and from your hives. It can take a lot of weight and is easy to pull around. It can also be hooked up to a ride-on mower if one is available.
When your swarm colony loses it's queen
Late September and early October will see the emergence of the first swarms from some colonies and we have to be aware that the first swarm (known as the primary swarm) from any given hive will contain the old queen.
In a percentage of these, the queen may be nearing the end of her egg-laying life and due for superseder by the workers.
In most cases this occurs after she has started laying in the hew home and the colony can raise a replacement young queen who successfully mates. However occasionally the old queen fails to commence laying in the new hive and the colony becomes queen-less. It therefore becomes expedient to inspect all new swarms within say 10 days or so to confirm that they are 'queen-right'.
Those that are queen-less and brood-less will need a comb of brood containing eggs or hatching larvae obtained from another hive. For those beekeepers who regularly re-queen it is a good opportunity to introduce quality stock to all newly collected swarms. 
from 'Today in the Apiary' by Eddie Moylan
Re-queening Basics
Hilary Kearney - 🎥 8mins - How to install a Queen Bee
Spring Time - Let's see how the hives are going
Lost Story of a Scottish POW Beekeeper
The long forgotten story of a beekeeping Scottish POW has been unearthed by researchers at Scotland's Rural College.
Despite refusing to 'slave' for Hitler and being forced to endure a bitter march across Europe after his capture, Company Sergeant Major James Hamilton Savage persuaded the Nazi guards in Stalag 383 to allow him to set up beehives behind the barbed wire fences.
Flowers can hear buzzing bees - and it makes their nectar sweeter!!
Member's Ads
Beekeeping Equipment/ Farm Gate Store

Rob & Sharon Fisher
0437 501 133
0418 502 396

Marked Queens - Italian and Caucasion, available mid October 2019 for pick up in Mirboo Nth. $42.00
Five frame Nucs - 5 frames with foundation, honey, bees, queen & brood. $280: Supplied in 5 frame corflute Nuc box. Other pricing options are available
Peter Gatehouse: 0423 244 107
902 Berry's Creek Rd Mirboo Nth 3871
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South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc. · PO Box 817 · Leongatha, Vic 3953 · Australia

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