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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic
All meetings of the South Gippsland Beekeepers are cancelled
Until further notice


Edition: #87

pic: Fortunately this weeny little red salvia survived. You see I had added it to the list of casualties, the plants lost. They were the price I payed for emplying an inexperienced youth to weed my garden for a cheap fee. Ha! 
Table of Contents
* President's Report
* Australian Virtual Hobby Beekeepers Conference
* SGB Annual General Meeting News.
* How to Get Bees for Your Hives
* Weekly Chatter Catch-up
* Winter Beekeeping
* Candle Making
* SGB Club Clothing
* Mentor's List
* Ads
* Equipment Hire
President's Report June 2020

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to Winter! Don't you just love these crisp mornings, cold nights, slushy paddocks, heavy gumboots, muddy cars (& carpets!) washing all over the house and the joy of warming your - cold bits (I was going to say arse but I may offend someone, so I won't) in front of the fire.

With things still up in the air regarding public meetings, we are somewhat in limbo. We are watching and listening carefully to our Premier as he cautiously unveils tantalizing glimpses of the speck of light at the end of the ISO tunnel.
Options for our meetings will be discussed at the Committee Meeting due to take place on June 4th via ZOOM. You will be notified of any changes to the current status as soon as we know what's happening.
We would like nothing better than to be able to resume meetings asap but of course we too must remain cautious. 

In the meantime our bees have been, long ago, tucked in for the winter and are being seen in small numbers foraging around the garden when the sun comes out and the wind is less than gale force. When you think of it, and you have the opportunity, it's a good idea to lift the back of your hives to check the weight. Get a feel for the weight so that you will be able to discern if there is a dramatic change and a need to feed them. Generally though, winter is the time to leave the bees alone. Just observe and enjoy them. Watch them coming and going from the hive, see what they are bringing in and check for dead bees outside the hive. Some is normal, hundreds is not.

Remember if you have a beekeeping question, a problem or you're unsure, at any time, of what to do you can always call one of the club mentors. The list is at the bottom of this newsletter. 

Don't forget to look at the website now and then. There are always some tweaks, additions, changes and the odd surprise. Some would say I have way too much time on my hands - 🤔 - yup, quite possibly. But hopefully you all benefit from my pedantry so it's all good.

Stay Put and Stay Safe:
Hope to see you all soon

Bron Barton - President

Australian Virtual Hobby Beekeepers Conference June 2020
Australia's first virtual hobby beekeepers conference... join us from the safety & convenience of your own home... easy...

The lucky door prize is a Flow Hive...

Come with us from the comfort of your own couch, on a virtual beekeeping adventure around Australia and beyond... imagine peering inside a living Bee Hive looking for the Queen Bee... contemplating next time you spread honey on your toast, appreciating its flavour & antimicrobial properties, while thanking a Hobby or Commercial Beekeeper for getting that honey into the jar for you in the first place ... seeing Parliament House Bee Hives 'in session'... acknowledging what a beekeeper needs to know to keep their Bee Hives healthy & productive... wondering what Mead will taste like for the first time... and anticipating the enjoyment of your bee friendly garden...
Find more info on Facebook 
Conference Schedule - Saturday, June 20, 2020
Purchase Tickets - $25 for the day
What we know (and don't know) about our AGM
At the moment we don't know when our AGM will take place. But IT WILL take place before the end of the year. You will be notified as soon as we have a date and forum (perhaps ZOOM if we are still unable to hold F2F meetings)

The club will need a New President as my 2 year term concludes this year. It is the only position with a maximum term. 
We also need a New Treasurer as Peter Galt is also retiring this year. 
Both of these positions have to be filled.

No President or Treasurer means no club!

All other positions will be open for nominations from all club members. These are Vice-Presidents 1 & 11, Secretary, and at least 4 Ordinary Members as stipulated in our Club Constitution.

I would urge everyone to please consider taking part as a Committee Member. It really does not matter how long you have been beekeeping. The committee is about ideas and helping the club to move forward. 
It is very rewarding to be a part of the great SGB team. New committee members with their fresh ideas are an important part of that.

Oh yes, we only have 4 committee meetings each year.

The position of President is obviously hard to fill as it is perceived as taking a lot of time and work. I won't lie, it can take some time and I can't quantify that, it varies a lot of course.

If you've had ideas, suggestions or gripes, then volunteering to be on the committee is the perfect way to get your voice heard. At present we only have 4 ordinary members, we can certainly have more if you would like to give it a go. All committee members have tasks, none of them terribly taxing.

No one is thrown in at the deep end when coming onto the committee. The transition into your roll, whatever that may be can be as gentle, or full-on, as you wish.

Contact Bron by phone (0433 035143) or email if you have any questions. Contact Colin by email if you would like to nominate for any committee positions.

Thanks everyone. Bron
Some Reading for your ISO time - Just click on the Graphics
This will give you a little insight into the different methods of acquiring bees to increase the hive numbers in your apiary.

Written by Bron Barton
These next 3 are from our Weekly Chatter - email series.

Read the article by Barry McGann on his and Nola's First year with bees.
You will be green envy reading about their rather impressive first honey harvest!

This article by Nola McGann on the Treatment for Bee Stings.
Nola covers all aspects from minor reactions, simple remedies to the signs and symptoms of more serious reactions.

Many questions are raised whilst Bron observes bee activity during a stroll around her garden.

If only bees could speak!
Winter Beekeeping
On cold days the bees are normally clustered comfortable together. They are not actually hibernating. There is a little miracle happening here as they generate their optimum winter temperature. Despite the fact that bees are cold-blooded creatures, they can still maintain very exact therm-regulation in the colony over a wide ambient temperature range.

Within the winter cluster, the bees in contact with the storage combs consume honey and then utilize this energy to generate heat. This is achieved by a curious isometric 'vibration' of the huge flight muscles that almost fill the bee's thorax. The whole of the cluster expands or contracts depending on whether it needs to be warmer or cooler. The outer bees act as insulators to the inner bees and the inner bees act as heaters fro the outer bees.

The extent of beekeeping activity at this time of year shouldn't go beyond a stroll around the apiary to make sure the hives are safe. Are they properly mouse-proofed? Is there debris (eg. dead bees or sticks, leaves) blocking the entrances? Have they been knocked over by wind or animals?
Keep the apiary tidy and catch up on some chores in the shed in preparation for Spring.

Take a look at our website for Beekeeping Jobs during Winter
Candle Making
If you have a fair bit of surplus wax why not make a few candles. They are always a hit as gifts and are only as expensive as the jar or mold you use.  Pictured is a beautiful glass 87mm x 74mm which costs from $3.00 each from EROMA, an Australian company. Other colours are available. Wax quantity for this sized jar is approx 180 grams.Wicks are also available. Thick wicks are best as the melting point of beeswax is higher than paraffin and soy wax. It is important to get the right wick for efficient burning.
An assortment of LIDS are also available for this jar.
SGB Club Clothing

Unfortunately you cannot try the garments on for size at the moment. Please send me your usual size, whether you prefer it loose, average or firm plus any other requests and I will do my best to get you the right size. You may return the garment for a full refund obligation free if the fit is not satisfactory. Please do not remove the hang-tags if returning.

SGB Club Polo Shirts: 
Logo: South Gippsland Beekeepers
Sizes: S - 4XL  


Men's sizing for the Polo Shirt is small

Women's sizing for the Polo Shirt is true

Made from quality, moisture-wicking fabric.

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

SGB Club Hoodies:
Logo: South Gippsland Beekeepers
Sizes: S - 4XL

Men's sizing for the HOODIE is average

Women's sizing for the HOODIE is large

Our winter hoodies are warm and comfortable with gold trim, a kangaroo pocket, bright club logo and lined hood.

pic. Bron is wearing the Small (Men's) which is equiv. to Ladies12/M
Use the link below to email Bron with your oder.
Please include your full name, mobile number and address, style, size and number required.
Orders will be either be available for pick-up from the next club meeting after ISO or may be posted if you would prefer.
Postage cost is $12.

Email to Order
Mentor's List
Any of our mentor's are as close as your phone.
Just give your chosen mentor a call if you have an issue you need sorted quickly. If possible, sending them pics of your problem or relative to your question makes their job a lot easier.
Choosing a mentor nearby is recommended just in case a hive visit is needed.
Rob SPRATT - Leongatha Sth: 8am - 9pm any day. General beekeeping, swarms 

Ron IRWIN - Mirboo Nth:  6pm - 9pm - 56681323
Beekeeper - Swarm collection - YES

Stan GLOWACKI - Jeeralang Junction: 9am- 6pm - 51222641 / 0413136878 Beekeeper & Bee Equipment - Swarms - NO

 Peter Gatehouse - Mirboo Nth: Most days - 0423 244107  Willing to help with onsite problems or guidance -  Swarms - YES

Bill RINGIN - Moe: Daytime/Evening up until 10pm: 56331326
Hobbyist Beekeepers - Swarms - YES

Dennis ROBERTS - Foster: Mon- Fri 9am - 6pm 56822339
Professional Beekeepers - Swarms - YES

David & Bron BARTON - Korumburra: From 10am Any day 0433 035144 / 0433 035143 General Beekeeping - Swarms - YES

Basic Minimal ads containing a business description and contact details are available to club members only for bee related wares or services.

Contact Bron on 

Beekeeping Equipment, Wax dipping, Queens, Nuc's

Peter Gatehouse
Phone: 0423 244 107
902 Berry's Creek Road Mirboo North 3871
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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
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Club Equipment Hire

2 Day Rentals:

Package: Decapping knife, plastic tubs, extractor & strainer $20
Extractor alone $15
Honeycomb Crush $20
Contact David on 0433 035144 12pm-7pm
Pick-up and drop off from Korumburra
If you have any submissions, questions, suggestions or complaints about the newsletter please contact Bronwyn on 0433 035143 or email:

General Club Inquiries for new members etc. can be addressed to 
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