Having trouble viewing this email?
View this email in your browser
March 2020 Newsletter
edition #84
Let me know if you think you can explain the picture on the banner.
Table of Contents:
1. President's report
2. 2020 Calendar
3. New Book
4. Planting for bees
5. Queen of the Season 
    A story from Rob Fransen
6. Bearding bees
7. Rapid Hygienic Behaviour
8. Beginner Beek's Course
9. Matt's Adventures:
    Starting out with a Flow-Hive
10. Recipe: Polish Honey Cake
11. Recipe: Galen Face Cream
12. SGB Club Suppliers
Website Website
Email Email
Facebook Facebook
Instagram Instagram
YouTube YouTube
President's Report
'the hum of the bee is the voice of the garden'
Hi Everyone,
Thanks to everyone who came along and participated in our first meeting for the year. It was a Q&A fest, beginning with the exceptionally well attended Beginner's Corner discussing feeding bees, amongst other things. After the formal meeting we heard from Colin regarding the use of clearer boards and the wax/apple crusher. Peter Gatehouse followed with a short talk/demo on wax processing which gave many the opportunity to describe the different methods of melting their excess beeswax. A short Q&A about when to harvest honey finished the meeting and led us into a noisy supper with many discussions rounding out the evening.

The March meeting is on Thursday 12th
when we will hear from Nicholai (sorry I still don't have his surname) about -
  • Carniolan Bees as a Race 
  • Carniolan Genetics
  • Breeding Carniolan Queens
  • Q & A

Hope to see you there.

Bron Barton (President)

SGB Calendar for 2020
SGB Meeting
2nd Thursday of each month at
ST.Peter's Anglican
Church Hall 

Meeting: Thursday March 12th 7:30pm

Topic: Nicholai will be giving us a presentation on Carniolan Bees
& Carniolan queen breeding

Meeting: Thursday April 9th 7:30pm

Topic: Panel discussion and Q&A - Packing down for winter.

SGB Beginners Corner
Will be running again next meeting.
This is especially for our new/beginner beekeepers to participate in a group chat with other newbies.

From 7:00pm-7:25pm on meeting nights

Visit a Local Beekeeper

If you would like to see and help an experienced beekeeper in their own apiary please contact Colin: Email or Mobile: 0438 545 145‬. Be quick though these places will go fast.


New Book - Released Nov 2019 - VERY Exciting!!
wallet warning wallet warning wallet warning - retails for $175
Well, This is kind-of bitter/sweet for me, but this, right here ➔ is the book that I have been looking for ever since I was first interested in keeping my own bees.
This is the ultimate Honey and Pollen source book for South Eastern Aus.
The bitter bit is because I have pretty much finished planting my garden - most of it for bees. Oh well 😞. 
The sweet bit is that I can buy this book and ogle at the wonderful pics, drool over the hundreds of plants and, more than likely, waste many hours walking around as many nurseries, gardens and parks as I can find. I am now able, with the aid of this truly magnificent publication, to identify any bee covered plant I find. Woohoo - happy dance!
Book Sales
Planting for Bees
this will have to tide you over until you save up for the above book
This is a poster made up to be displayed in nurseries. Now you have exclusive access to it too. Lucky you!  
This list is just the tip of the iceberg but there was limited space so I have included as many as I could fit. Take it with you when you go to buy plants perhaps see if the nursery would like one to display for their customers. Most nurseries are more than happy to oblige.
Please click on the link HERE to view the pdf.

Also available to club members is a comprehensive list made up by Stan Glowacki of flora in Gippsland. This is a 7 page pdf and available to download HERE.
View & Print Poster


Queen of the Season
by Rob Fransen

     You never really know what your getting yourself into when picking up a swarm of bees.  Are they high in a tree or low on a bush, or are they black aggressive or tan and docile? You've got to be ready for anything and accept what nature is offering you.

 In early October I had a call from a guy in Cape Woolamai about a swarm at his house. Being my first swarm on offer for the season I agreed to help.

     It was obvious I had a right house as turning into the driveway I could see the bees had settled in the mail box. "Hmmm, a nice light colour and so quiet"
     It didn't take long to get them all into the box. At my quarantine apiary site they settled quickly and within days she had laid 3 frames full of eggs.

     In an early inspection  I located the queen and marked her with a yellow dot. Second box on within a fortnight and always displaying a very docile nature.

Fast forward......mid February 2020 this swarm had given me in excess of 25kg of honey.  I assume coming from a town area she may have been a purchased queen from a a queen breeder having ticked 3 main points.

1. Docile.  (My only hive I can work without gloves )

2. Good Honey Production. (25kg + after building up a strong force of workers )

3. Hygenic. ( Can't see any problem with disease or pests.                             

     Last week I requeened the hive. Not wanting to lose her in a swarm next season I took a split from the hive with her in it.  Re-marked her with a white dot (yellow dot still evident) then located her in another apiary.
She has a long slender black abdomen a typical trait of the Carniolan & Caucasian breeds as the Caucasian book describes.  Gentle, Industrious and quiet on the comb.  My "postie" Queen has proven herself to take first place in my queen rearing program for next year. Can't wait to see what the results of her offspring will be.

Bee keeping can be sooooo Interesting !

thanks Rob for taking the time to write/photograph and send this to the newsletter.

Bearding Bees
should you worry about bearding?
Almost all of the time this is totally normal, and even a healthy sign. You will see this in strong colonies as the population is at its height and as the bees are storing and ripening honey at a blinding pace. To keep the honey at correct temperature and allow for airflow the hive, a small to large number of adult bees will hang out the front, helping the internal temperature to stay cool. You might even see some fanning of their wings, moving air into the hive on the hottest days.
Bearding Bees Explained
Rapid Hygienic Behaviour
Thinking of breeding your own queens? There is more to consider than just the mechanics of queen breeding. You also have to consider just how hygienic the stock is that you will be producing. 
Rapid Hygienic Testing
Beginner Beek's Course
     Our second beekeeping course for the season went ahead last weekend and was a great success. We had 12 students.
The evening session at St Peter's church hall on Friday went well and was followed on Saturday afternoon with everyone coming to the Barton's apiary in Korumburra. Peter, Colin and David assisted the students as they inspected a number of hives and got to look into the Top-Bar hive also.
Lots of honey was seen in some hives with students learning how to identify all castes of bees, brood at all stages, various stores including capped and uncapped honey as well as a good brood pattern. Baby bees were seen hatching and queens were spotted also. Fortunately (or unfortunately as is your perspective) no swarms were in action.
A spot of afternoon tea followed with a quick session on Warre Hives from Colin. We then went inside for the class conclusion talking about pests, diseases and responsibilites as beekeepers.
The next SGB Beginner Beekeeping Course: October 2020
Matt's Adventures: Starting out with a Flow-Hive
by Matt Ashton
     Some snippits from Matt's story:
I received the Flow Hive as a 'going away present' leaving the city for the country, a 'tree change'. 
 ...  I received my first 'nuc' in March 2019.  By this time I had been to about 4 monthly meetings of the South Gippsland Beekeepers.

 ...  As I had started my beekeeping journey with a Flow Hive,  in the back of my mind were niggling questions; 'is this a gimmick?'
 ...  Within two weeks I was harvesting my first two frames. I could not believe it.
Read Matt's Full Story
Recipe: Polish Honey Cake
from British Columbia Women's Institutes Adventures in Cooking

500g honey
500g sugar
250g butter
1kg plain flour
3 eggs
3tsp bicarbonate of soda, dissolved in 10ml milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cardamon
30g nuts, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp finely slivered orange rind, fried in 15g butter with 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
Plus: powidel (plum jam) or marzipan

  1. Gradually heat the honey, sugar and butter together almost to boiling point. Cool. Working the dough with your hands, gradually add the flour, eggs, soda, milk, salt and spices. Add the nuts and orange rind, if desired.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and put it in a bowl covered with a towel. Leave in a cool place for several hours or overnight to mature. 
  3. Divide the dough into three parts, roll them out, and place each piece in a rectangular baking tin. Bake in an oven preheated to 180c (160c fan-forced) for 40 minutes or until the cakes are slightly browned and firm to the touch. The cakes are hard at first, but after 2 or 3 days become tender and melt in the mouth. When cool, the layers may be sandwiched together with powidel jam or marzipan. Two differed fillings may be used.
  4. After filling, the cake should be covered with a sheet of paper and weighed down with a board or books. The cake keeps for a long time, particularly if stored in a cool place.
Recipe: Galen Face Cream
thanks Lynne - recipe from Organic Beauty Recipes
9 tsp  rosewater
9 tsp almond oil or olive oil
2 tsp beeswax
Essential oils (optional) - 20 drops rose otto essential oils 
  1. Combine the oils in a double boiler on low heat and wait until everything is melted
  2. At the same time, put the water in another double boiler on low heat so that it reaches the same temperature as the oils
  3. Once the oil and beeswax are melted, take it off the heat and start whipping with an electric mixer for a few minutes: at the same time add the water spoon by spoon. 
  4. Maker sure your mixer is set on low speed.
  5. You can use a hand whip if you prefer but is is more work! 
  6. After a few minutes, the liquid will soon turn into a cream as you progressively add the water
  7. Once you have reached the creamy consistency desired, add the essential oils and blend.
  8. Scoop the cream into a sterile glass receptacle and allow cooling to room temperature before putting the cap on.
PS: Pure essential rose oils are very expensive ie: $40 per 20 drops and Jojoba oil is 77c per 100ml. A 60ml jar of this cream will cost you approximately $50.
Club Member Advertising
Beekeeping equipment. By appointment

Stan Glowacki
Koala Drive Jeeralang Junction 3840 
0413 136 878
5122 2641

Beekeeping Equipment /Farm Gate Store

Rob & Sharon Fisher
0437501133 / 0418502396

Hill Top Hives

Peter Gatehouse
Phone: 0423 244 107
902 Berry's Creek Road Mirboo North 3871
Forward Forward
Copyright © 2020 South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc., All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp