South Gippsland Beekeepers

October 2019 Newsletter
Edition: #81
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President's Report

Hi Everyone,

It is so good to see the bees spoilt for choice as they zip around the garden trying to decide which of the delectable spring blossoms, flowers & weeds they wish to forage on. Our bees have a difficult choice between the gorgeous mass of blue flowers on the large Ceanothus and the thousands of bunches of white flowers on the ten Rhaphiolepis indica bushes dotted around the garden not far from our home hives.

Today's glorious spring conditions with the promise to be set fair for the rest of the week also means that we have a few days to choose from for our spring hive opening. It's a good idea to take a notebook with you or get a voice-recording app for your phone so that you can dictate the state of each hive. The first spring check can be a bit of a mixed bag, particularly across a number of hives, and easy to forget or mix them up, especially if you leave it until later in the day or next day. Another option is to write notes with marking pen on the lid of each hive. It can be cleaned off at the end of the season, unless you fill the lid up with info. before then. 

Well I don't know about you but I am determined to get a truckload of honey this year. Most years I don't think about it much and just puddle along looking after the bees and taking honey off as available - but after last year!! How was OUR honey harvest you ask?? Well, yes ahem, pathetic, ordinary and downright crappy are the words that spring to mind. 

So it's shoulder to the swarm prevention and nose to the wiring jig in preparation for a bumper 2019/2020. 

Thanks to Julian for his talk last month on swarming. If you missed it you can catch-up on our YouTube Channel. You will find a number of our past speakers there also.

I'm looking forward to hearing from our new Apiary Officer, Ally Driessen at this month's meeting. She will be talking about the bio-security COP and her time at the Almond Pollination a few weeks ago. There will be time for Q & A afterwards.

See you at the October meeting 
Happy Beekeeping


2019 Calendar

SGB Meeting
2nd Thursday from Feb - Nov
St Peters Anglican Church Hall Leongatha

 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

Thursday October 10th

Speaker: Ally Driessen - Apiary Officer, Speaking about: 
Bio-Security Code of Practice - Spending time at the Almond Orchards & Q & A

Thursday November 14th

We will have a general Q & A for all followed by our end of year break-up. Should be fun and there may be some goodies won here and there - just sayin'
Sunday October 14th

VAA Bendigo Branch Field Day  Harcourt

Download Programme HERE

Sunday October 27th 
'The Brood Box' field day at Rosedale Primary School

Download details HERE

Sunday November 10th
'Meet the Bees' field day at Mirboo Nth Rec Reserve.

Please check HERE for details

  1. President's Report
  2. Trip to Heronswood
  3. SGB Visit a Local Beekeeper Program
  4. Blue Bees Video
  5. SGB Nuc List
  6. Mead Recipe

Our Trip to Heronswood 14th September

We had a corker of a day for our trip to Dromana a few weeks ago. There were 13 of us including Russell our driver. 
We started off from Leongatha at 8.15am on and picked up a few more in Korumburra then proceeded on our 90 minute drive to Dromana. Once at Heronswood a number of our group attended a workshop on chemical free gardening which examined the many choices available to gardeners to help use as little unnatural pest control as possible. It was quite illuminating. Those not involved in the workshop walked around the gardens or sat and talked around the tables on the lovely lawn beside the mansion. 
Lunch was next with some delicious food served up using a lot of the produce from the Heronswood garden. After lunch we had another wander around the garden and the nursery/gift shop where I whiled away the time choosing lots of seeds from the huge wall of seed packets on offer. Soon enough it was time for a spot of Devonshire Tea to fortify us before we set off for the Austplant Nursery just up the road.
Austplant sells only natives, get the name now? It was lovely to walk around their small display garden with fully grown specimens, amazing garden art and a bee-hive in situ. 
Everyone had a lovely day with lots of talk of plants, gardens and bees, of course. 
Thanks to everyone who came who helped to make the day so enjoyable and a HUGE Thank You to Russell Harbour for offering to drive the bus for us. It was so nice to just sit back and chat making the drive home seem like a mere fraction of the time.

Garden Art at AustPlant

Visit a Local Beekeeper Program
Last summer we began this program which involved a small group of newish beekeepers visiting another more experienced beekeeper in their general geographical area. In all we had 3 sessions all of which were very successful and well attended. So ... we have decided to do it again this summer.

If you would like to take part, either as a * more senior beekeeper willing to have some less  experienced members come to your apiary.  
Or you may be a * less experienced beekeeper who is  wanting to gain a little confidence.

If you fall into either category please let either Bron, Colin or Peter Gatehouse know and we will put you on our list.
Have you seen this video before? Sorry if I'm repeating it but this year is no different and I just had to share the joy of watching hundreds, maybe thousands of bees delighting in the abundant pollen supplied by the Ceanothus (Blue Pacific).
My goodness me the bees do love, Love, LOVE this beautiful blue tree.
Nuc List
This is another initiative of the SGB and is a great means of buying or selling the results of hive-splitting in the summer or autumn.

If you are planning to do some hive splits to reduce the risk of swarming and would like to sell the resulting 'nuc' please contact Peter Gatehouse and he will guide you regarding the requirements for selling it on.
If you would like to expand/start your apiary this is a pretty good way of going about it. Register your interest with Pete and he will let you know when any nuc's are available.
Simple Orange Mead Recipe

This recipe is derived from a US recipe, hence the use of a 1 gallon measure, and (in the original) a preference for Fleishmann's Bread Yeast. Here is Oz I have successfully used Defiance Instant Dry Yeast.

The theory behind the use of bread yeast is that it will be killed by the alcohol at a relatively low level, leaving more residual sugars (ie a sweeter mead). A wine yeast would probably ferment to a much higher alcohol level leaving a much dryer mead (which is not so nice!).

The resulting mead should have about the alcohol level of a fortified wine, with a balance of sweetness from the honey and bitterness from the orange.

Many mead recipes call for a light flavoured honey, but my summer honey is fairly dark and strong (from tea-tree nectar), and still makes a lovely mead.

Go to the RECIPE - and have fun with 
Local 'lady' under attack from mysterious projectiles!!

As I was wandering around the garden today I came across a most unusual phenomenon. It was quite still with little wind and the sun was deliciously warm with an ambient temperature of around 26c. When I started out on my walk I thought I had heard a cracking noise but surmised that it was the dog with a bone, or a bird in a tree snapping off bark, either accidentally or, as in the case of Cockies or Gang-Gangs, on purpose. I looked for birds but couldn't find any associated with the cracking noise.
(Now a quick note: if you know what I had heard, don't spoil it for the others - shhhhhhhh)
For the rest of this gripping thriller - READ MORE
Beekeeping Equipment
Jeeralang Junction

by appointment only
Stan Glowacki
0413 136 878‬
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
Beekeeping Equipment/ Farm Gate Store

Rob & Sharon Fisher
0437 501 133
0418 502 396

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South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc. · PO Box 817 · Leongatha, Vic 3953 · Australia

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