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South Gippsland Beekeepers

June 2019 Newsletter
edition #77
President's Report

Hi Everyone,

The grass is all back to green, the nights are cold, the windows have icy rain dribbling across the panes and the little ladies are all tucked up in their wooden mansions. Winter has come.
Raindrops are glistening on the tips of the weeping lilly pilly leaves. Those tiny drops represent a fraction of the water that has left the sky for earth ending it's journey from somewhere between Antarctica and here. Question to self: You DID make sure that all the hives were tilted towards the entrance didn't you? - Uhu, uhu👍🏼! Yep, sure did. 
The wind is whistling melodiously as is scoots over the treetops and catches branches, stretches leaves as straight as arrows and drops to whip along the ground. Question to self: Think! Are ALL hive entrances facing away from winter gusts? - 👍🏼Yes, every one.
Mid morning and early afternoon seem as dark as dusk. Thick cloud cover has brought night to the day with animals and children confused in the gloom. Question to self: Did all of the overhanging branches around the hives get trimmed? It was definitely on the Autumn list. - 👍🏼Yes. It was done in time and all debris cleared away from the hive entrances too.
So having virtuously 😇 completed the Beekeepers Autumn Task List I can now enjoy the rest of winter, a season I am very fond of incidentally. Perhaps what I should say is that our climate in total, with it's well defined seasons, is what I really love.  Wouldn't live anywhere else.

I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields that it kisses them so gently?
And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps is says,
'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.
~ Lewis Carroll

What a fabulous meeting we had in May thanks to both our wonderfully entertaining speaker The Bee Relocation Specialist Shane Doran and the Honey & Mead tasting competition. Thanks also to everyone who entered. It was quite amazing to me how different all of the honeys were. I am assured that the mead was quite a mixed bunch too. And as for those chocolates - Daryl is sitting on a goldmine right there!! 
The attendance on the night was awesome, estimated to be 70 'ish. It's the first time I can remember that we needed to gather up so many extra chairs.

Results and pics of the night in newsletter below.

Happy Beekeeping everyone

Bron Barton

Newsletter Contents:
🐝 Presidents Report
🐝 Pizza Night
🐝 Beginner's Corner
🐝 Raffle Tickets
🐝 Honey & Mead Tasting Competition
🐝 Vic Beekeeping Clubs Conference
🐝 Bee Gym: Varroa Treatment
🐝 Q & A
🐝 Beekeeping News
🐝 Club Merchandise
🐝 Advertisin
2019 Calendar
Our next SGB Meeting is also our popular 'Pizza Night'.
Pizzas, salad, hot and cold drinks & sweets will be provided free to our members ($5pp for non members).
This is a great night with the opportunity to get to know other beekeepers in a relaxed environment around a table laden with pizzas and salad.
For catering purposes, we need to know how many people will be attending.
Please RSVP via text message to Lorrae Hamilton on 0405 449387 as soon as possible, no later than June 11

There will be demonstrations of hive component construction with Nola and David - Julian will also be showing how to make wax wraps.
We are also delighted to have our club suppliers in attendance with assorted beekeeping wares for sale on the night. 
Beginners Corner:
Beginners Corner will continue before each monthly meeting from 7pm - 7.25 pm.
Bring all your questions, don't be shy!
Julian will be up front to help and guide you.
Raffle Tickets
AGM RAFFLE TICKETS - for sale at the June & July Meetings
The raffle to be drawn at the AGM July 11th just prior to the conclusion of proceedings to make 
sure everyone has plenty of time to get a ticket.
Tickets are $5 each
1st Prize: 15lt Wax Melter from AU Wax Melters
2nd Prize: $50 voucher for beekeeping wares from Jeeralang Apiaries - Stan Glowacki
3rd Prize: $50 voucher for beekeeping wares from Hill Top Hives - Peter Gatehouse
4th Prize: $50 voucher for beekeeping wares from Fisher's Beekeeping Supplies - Rob Fisher

You can take ticket books (10 tickets each) but the stubs and payment MUST be returned to any committee member or by post
at the LATEST by July 3rd i.e. at least a week before the AGM 
to be eligible to go into the draw. 

Postal address:
South Gippsland Beekeepers 
PO Box 817 
Leongatha 3953
Good Luck to you all!
July 11th
* Raffle Draw * Fancy Dress *
* Best Decorated Hive *
* Door Prizes *

'Jobs in the Hive'
Lets see all of those nurses, builders, guards, foragers etc

Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place

Not into fancy dress?
This new section may be right up your alley!

Most Creative Decorated Hive Box 🎨 

The only requirement is for a wooden
full depth hive box.
Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place

NOT the one pictured above!


We have - WITHOUT A DOUBT - The BEST AGM going around!!
You will not be disappointed.

All financial club members will receive a single ticket for the door prize
and families will receive 2 tickets. 

Honey & Mead Tasting - Competition Night - 2019
So many honey entries. Not so many mead but now we have
seen the contenders next year should inspire many more to have a go!

Thanks to everyone who entered
and to Graham Beasley🌟 who did a great job organising the competition.
 to the following winners

🥇1st Prize: Maria Maraone (one of my students - go girl!!)
🥈2nd Graham Beasley,
🥉3rd Francis Sullivan


🥇1st Prize: Colin Goodwin,
🥈2nd Keith Gray,
🥉3rd Daryl Cameron
2019 Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference 
Full Day Conference, Saturday 15 June, 2019. 8:30am – 5:00pm (Registration and refreshments from 8.00am)
Victorian Recreational Beekeepers Association in collaboration with The Beekeepers Club Inc. have the pleasure in announcing that it will be hosting the 2nd Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference.

The aim of the Conference is to connect with hobbyist, recreational, sideline and commercial beekeepers from across Victoria. Conference delegates will hear from informative and inspiring presenters including researchers, educators, entrepreneurs, biosecurity specialists, innovators and authors.

Conference Program:
Pre Conference Dinner, Friday 14 June, 2019. 7:00pm-10:00pm.

Bee Gym: Chemical-Free Varroa Grooming Aid 

For anyone following the progress of chemical free varroa control, this is an interesting gadget with mixed reviews which seems to be the case with any of the chemical free options including small cell foundation.
The link in the heading above has a short video showing the bees using it.

  The Bee Gym is a patented device to assist and improve grooming behaviour in honeybees to help them to control varroa mite populations.

The Bee Gym was developed on the principle that with a simple device bees can be encouraged to groom themselves more effectively to remove varroa mites. With its unique combination of specifically designed grooming aids, the Bee Gym encourages and enhances the natural grooming behaviour of honeybees, assisting in the removal of varroa mites from the colony. The Bee Gym should be used as part of an Integrated Pest Management approach to varroa control.

Q & A
Q: Should I use big or small boxes and frames?
A: If you are using a Langstroth hive, you will initially choose a deep box. Later on you can use all sorts of combinations and this can depend on the strength of the hive (the number of bees) and the availability of nectar, aka the honey flow. For a newish colony which has been recently moved out of a 5 frame nuc (nucleus box) you will start with a brood box which is a full sized box, and as the colony expands in the spring you can put on a super (full sized box) to encourage further expansion by giving the queen more area to lay her eggs and/or an 'ideal' sized box on top to encourage honey storage. If you prefer you can wait until a bit later in the season as the colony continues to grow and then add the second brood box and one or more 'ideal' boxes on top of that to take the honey surplus, depending on the nectar flow and the demands of the bees.
**Please note that BEFORE you add any boxes you need to make sure that the number of bees in your hive can support the extra room. If you leave too much foundation or comb space the bees cannot police it against wax moth and hive beetle.**
Q: Why do most beekeepers prefer 8 frame boxes over 10 frame?
A: Simply put, a larger box can hold more honey but can be considerably heavier to lift when full of honey. How is your back? Most people won't be lifting a full box of honey whether it be 8 or 10 frames. It's possible for the weight to exceed 30kg. Not a good idea, I'm sure you will agree. Keep in mind that you cannot mix the boxes, bases and lids between 8 and 10 frame boxes. It is best to choose which one you want to start with and stick to it across the board.
Q: How many hives do I need?
A: Need? Just one. How many should you have? At least two.

Starting your beekeeping life, it is fair to say there's a little expense ahead. Thankfully many of these - the smoker, hive tool, protective gear etc are one off.
Getting 2 hives does add more expense but it is definitely advantageous to the newer beekeeper. With two hives you always have a comparison which can help you to identify problems: eg. a weak colony, a hungry colony etc. It is also useful, especially if the hives are kept together, to be able to move frames from a stronger hive to a weaker one.
Setting up the second hive with bees can be as easy as splitting your first one. Ask your mentor to help you to do this if you aren't confident.
Beekeeping News - Around the country
Aussie events device to harmlessly 'milk' bee venom
April 27th 2019
🎧  2m18s
A Qld researcher has invented a device that allows beekeepers to harvest venom without harming the insects, which could mean extra revenue for apiarists.
Bad honey season is casting fear on pollination, food production
SA Country Hour - May 3rd 2019
Beekeepers have lost up to 70% of honey production because of 'horrendous' conditions, and the effects of another bad season could be felt by other food crops.

Prescribed burns having 'profound' impact on honey industry, say beekeepers
WA Country Hour - May 7th 2019
The commercial honey industry in WA says the state's prescribed burn programme is costing the industry hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Club merchandise will be at the June Meeting

SGB Club Polo Shirts:
Made from quality, air-wicking fabric.
There are still some sizes available for sale
There will be sizes at meetings to try on before ordering.

pic. Bron is wearing the Medium which  is equiv. to Ladies12/M

SGB Club Hoodies:
Our new winter hoodies are warm and comfortable with gold trim a kangaroo pocket, bright club logo and lined hood.There are still quite a few for sale in a variety of sizes. Mens: S, M L & XL.
There will be sizes at meetings to try on before buying or ordering if we run out of stock.

pic. Bron is wearing the Small which is equiv. to Ladies12/M
Peter Gatehouse

Honey, Beekeeping equipment, Wax dipping, Nucleus hives, Wax products

m:0423 244 107
902 Berry's Creek Road, Mirboo North 3871
Stan Glowacki

Beekeeping equipment for sale:  by appointment

Koala Drive Jeeralang Junction 3840

m: 0413 136 878
h: 5122 2641
Rob & Sharon Fisher

Beekeeping equipment - 
Intro to beekeeping workshops - Nucleus hives

m: 0437 501 133 Rob
M: 0418 502 396 Shazz
Dumbalk area
Copyright © 2019 South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc., All rights reserved.

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