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August 2018 Newsletter
Issue #69
Presidents Report - August 2018

I would like to begin my term as President of the SGB by thanking all of those who have put their faith in me and supported my nomination. It has been rather humbling. I meant what I said at the AGM that I will represent the SGB, beekeeping and bees to the very best of my ability. 

I am sure that with the support of our more than capable committee, together we will work towards a club that serves it’s members and more widely the beekeeping community well.

The AGM was a terrific success, as always, with much fun and laughter. The nominations went without a hitch. There was no swashing of sabrés or fits of foot stomping as each nominee was accepted unopposed. Having said that, there was swashing of swords to follow with the rather - shall I say - ‘high-spirited’ Highland Lassies winning first for best dressed in our Beekeeping Around The World competition. Congratulations girls! Second was our VP Graham as an Italian Bee and yours truly coming in third as the Statue of LiBEEty. (Pics to follow and on our website Gallery page of some of the  AGM fun)

The terrific door prizes were supplied by Stan Glowacki, with donations also by Fisher’s beekeeping and Hill-Top Hives. For any others who donated goods I give you my sincerest thanks and apologies for not knowing who you are. 

The newest beekeeper prize of a book was won by Simon van der Craats and the Lucky Seat  prize of a Queen Bee by from Hill-Top Hives was won by Greg Caple.

The prize we were all greedily coveting - the Electric Wax Melter supplied by AU Wax Melters - was won by Rob Fransen. Well done Rob. What an awesome prize.

Lastly, I would like to thank Peter & Margaret Gatehouse as they bow out of the President’s and Secretary’s positions respectively. Peter, over the last two years has done a great job as our president with his quiet, no nonsense manner. Margaret is the busiest woman I know and had her workload increased further, halfway through her term as secretary. Her retirement as secretary gives her more time for these commitments and I wish her the very best.

So, let’s get on with it. Forward ho …

Bron Barton
President: SGB

Annual Presidents Report - July 2018

Click above for the link to the pdf of Peter Gatehouse's Annual Report
which he read out at the AGM
2018 Calendar

SGB Meeting Night
Thursday August 9th 7.30pm

A chat about pests in the bee-hive
Bron & Paul have recently done the online Tocal Course - Pests and Diseases of Honey Bees.
They will be bringing a presentation to the club to help you to identify and treat your hives for Small Hive Beetle, Wax Moth etc. Questions will also be taken which they will do there best to answer along with more experienced members of our club.


Thursday September 13th 7.30pm

Hive Keepers App & Spring Check reminders
Simon is coming to help us to understand and get the best use out of this new app which is specifically for detailed hive inspection recording. I have it and it looks terrific although haven't had a chance to use it yet. Come-on spring!
Time for a reminder talk about your first spring check and the importance and basics of swarm prevention - Q & A will be included in both subjects.
July Newsletter Contents
* President's Report
* Peter Gatehouse 2018 Annual Report
* Calendar
* AGM in pics
* Industry calls for greater forage access
* More on fungicide exposure to honey bees
* Kids book review
* USA Largest solar bee farm in Oregon
* Queen cell cups & Laying workers
* The winter cluster & Thermal imaging
* Ads
* New SGB Committee

Will you be selling Nucs this spring?
Members, new ones especially, want to know where to get bees from. 
If you are planning of doing some hive splits this spring, for the purpose of selling some, would you please let us know so that we can direct those in need of bees in your direction.
Please send details of how many nuc's you expect to be able to sell and the asking price so that I can include it in the next few newsletters. 
Email here, thanks. Bron
AGM in Pics:
Pics below: Rob Fransen was the lucky winner of the awesome 15lt. AU Wax Melter 
Clockwise from top left
The line-up of fancy dress entrants as the judges decide on the winners.
Graham Beasley our VP as an Italian Bee - 2nd Prize
Bron Barton as The Statue of Li BEE ty. - 3rd Prize
Peter Gatehouse as Monsignor Émile Warré and his assistant Madam Beetrice Baguette - no prize given (a protest may be pending) I say ROBBED!

Having said that - let me say this - A HUGE thank you to the judges. They were given a most unenviable task that has been known to divide families and start civil wars but rose to the occasion with great aplomb and impartial dignity. Well done all !!
Honey Bee Industry calls for greater forage access
in conservation parks amid almond boom

19th July 2018 - ABC Rural NEWS

The Australian honey bee industry is pushing for greater access to forage in national parks, as a growing demand for crop pollinators sparks concern about food availability.

It comes amid a boom in almond plantations across southern Australia estimated to require 100,000 more beehives in coming years.


"If you go to pollination, then you often need areas to go to
to rejuvenate your bee

Australian Honey Bee Industry Council executive director Trevor Weatherhead (right) said more bees would bring the need for better access to nectar and pollen.

"At the present time there is probably just enough to go around," he said.

"The biggest issue facing beekeepers in Australia today is that resource access and security of that access.

Read the full story HERE

The Magazine of American Beekeeping

This article explains the topics below and more:
  • Studies have linked fungicides to honey bee decline
  • Exposure Dangers
  • Known Effects of Fungicides
  • Reducing Fungicide Exposure and Synergistic Effects
(Pic left: I thought I had best add the 'Sombrero of Secrecy' over the Brand)

A lovely new little book for children 4-8 years.
Bea Bee is the most resourceful, hardest working and happiest bee living in a hive located in a beautiful meadow. One day she notices a new sign on the gate and goes back to the hive to get wise old bee to come to the gate with her and read the notice as she doesn’t understand all the words. The news is bad; the sign is for a planning application to build houses all over the meadow. Wise Old Bee suggests that only if a rare or endangered species is found in the meadow is there a chance that the meadow can be saved. Bea suggests a wild idea on how to save the meadow from this happening. If they don’t then they are going to have to move the hive.
Details of purchase HERE
USA's Largest Solar Bee Farm In Oregon
 (click heading for more of the article)

Bees are enjoying their days in the sun on a clean-energy farm in Oregon.

The Solar farm is the largest “solar apiary” in the country, incorporating designs that benefit pollinators. It’s home to 48 bee colonies interspersed among solar panels.

“It does obviously recognize that these are managed landscapes and that the site is first and foremost an energy-generation facility,” he said. “But within that context, there are significant ways to manage the vegetation so that it’s incrementally and meaningfully beneficial to honeybees and all the native pollinators and wildlife.”

Queen Cell Cups & Laying Workers
 (an excerpt - click heading for more of the article)

Queen cell cups are small cup-like structures that form the base of queen cells built for swarming or queen supersedure (replacement). Beekeeping slang can be confusing for new beekeepers so here it is for queen cell cups versus queen cells. When empty, a queen cell cup is called just that. When containing an egg, mostly I hear beekeepers still call the structure a queen cell cup (not a queen cell). The discussion occurs mostly with swarming, a situation when the bees may remove the eggs from the queen cell cups, which would delay swarming. When a larva is in the structure, then it is called a queen cell.

The bees cluster within the hive, around the Queen and brood, and spend time each day on the outside of the cluster, similar to penguins in Antarctica, before folding back into the cluster for food and warmth. Bees take turns inside the empty cells of comb to keep the brood warm so they can develop properly. They detach their wings from the socket and inside the cell they 'beat' their wings which causes vibration within their bodies that raise their body temps. This heat radiates from the bee to the brood in other cells. They can keep up to 8 other cells warm by raising their body temperatures to approx 44 degrees. This is about 9 degrees higher than their usual body temperature. Scientists are still baffled as to how they acheive this heat increase without cooking their brains!
Thermal imagers work by converting heat into electronic signals which can then be recorded and viewed on a video monitor. The Flir One imagers designed to work with smart phones have two lenses, one to take a normal digital photograph of the scene, and one to sense heat gradients. In the final photo, the heat gradient is overlaid on the photograph so you can see where the heat is coming from.

I checked online for the thermal imaging camera that you can pop onto your smart phone. With the use of an app. voilà you can virtually see inside your hives during winter - BUT the cameras are expensive. I couldn't find one for sale is Aus for less than $600!

The image clearly shows the position of the cluster. The other two hives on this stand are empty © Rusty Burlew.
From this picture, left, you can see the 'random' cells left empty. This is actually good planning from the bees to allow 'bee warmers' in to do their jobs!

Pics below: I thought you all might like to see what other keepers do where they have a real winter.
UK: silver waterproof lining and hessian blankets. These keepers are very conscious of damp      ...........
which is worse for bees than cold temperatures, and have been careful to provide good ventilation.
Northern US: These hives have slightly tapered tops for snow to drop off, a material lining and black plastic over the top. The black absorbs whatever sun is out to add a little more heat inside the hive.

In cold climates that don't have as much rain, ventilation area can be slightly smaller. The hives under all that snow would have the same...I think!

The Bunyip Beekeeper

Factory 4/18 Bormar Drive Pakenham Vic 3810
Winter Hours: from 8th June 2018 - 9am to 5:30pm - Wednesday to Friday
Closed Saturday


Jeeralang Apiary Supplies 

Stan Glowacki
60 Koala Drive
Jeeralang Junction
51222641 & 0413136878

Hill Top Hives (Mirboo North)

Please call for prices on services available e.g. swarm/hive removals, wax dipping and  equipment costs.
Contact: Peter Gatehouse 0423 244107 

Blue Tree Honey Farm

Café Hours:
Thu - Fri  10:30am - 3:30pm
Sat - Sun 10:00am - 4:00pm

Delicious Devonshire Tea
Now open for LIGHT LUNCHES Sat & Sun
Gourmet Pies & Toasted Focaccia

Farm gate sales store for your beekeeping supplies, honey & jams.

m: 0418 502 396 Rob & Sharon Fisher
120 Sweeneys Lane, Dumbalk Victoria 3956

2018/2019 SGB Club Committee


President: Bron Barton
Vice President: Graeme Beasley
Treasurer: Peter Galt
Secretary: Colin Goodwin
Member: Peter Gatehouse
Member: Julian Walker
Member: Rob Fransen
Member: Lorrae Hamilton
Member: Margaret Gatehouse

Other Positions:
Swarm Co-ordinator: Julian Walker - 0413 252128
Equipment Officer: David Barton - 0433 035144
Newsletter & Website Editor: Bron Barton - 0433 035143
Copyright © 2018 South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc., All rights reserved.

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