South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc. Newsletter
November 2015 Issue #42

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From our President




Where has the year gone, as we are approaching our last meeting of the year?  I reflect on what I was hoping to achieve this year and realise now I will have to roll it over to next year.  Ah well.


Our October meeting was very interesting. Firstly, our member Darren Hardacre brought us up to date on using our smokers during the fire danger period and total fire ban days.  I think we are probably all a little guilty of being a bit complacent during these times.  A big thankyou to Darren and sorry for the lack of gift due to the blowing of the budget on our guest speaker.  


We were very privileged to have Megan from Melaleuca Nursery from Inverloch to give us a talk on bird and bee friendly flora.  The power point presentation Megan had, was very impressive and she has emailed her presentation to the club for its future use.  We would like to think as a club, our members will support where possible, those who give their time to supply us with information and knowledge.   Melaleuca nursery is well worth a visit.


Last Sunday, I visited 4 gardens involved in the Gardivalia Festival of Gardens in West Gippsland.  The first one was the garden of our members Gary and Judy Butler.  A pat on the back to them both for an outstanding garden.  Their bees were very active with all the bloom and blossom. Unfortunately I didn’t get to Linda Craig- Sneyders garden, which was also on display, where Linda was giving bee keeping demonstrations.  Of the 4 gardens I visited, 3 had hives one of which was hosting.  I would recommend this event to anyone wanting to visit next year.


As I mentioned earlier, this is our last meeting of the year until February and to finish off in style we are lucky enough to have John Edmonds for a return visit.  This will be one not to be missed as John has a lot of knowledge to share and I feel it is a great way to finish the year.  


Hope to see you at the meeting and don’t forget the Christmas Breakup on Sunday November the 29th at Dumbalk


Happy Beekeeping,


Steve Lovie

From the Editor:

As you can see the newsletter is being delivered to you differently. This was to ensure that everyone is able to view the whole thing and not just the first 1/4 of the newsletter as has been occurring with some. It's a shame for anyone to miss out on any of the newsletter content so hopefully this won't happen anymore with the new 'delivery' method.
Wherever you see our little research bee in the newsletter there is a LINK nearby for you to follow to get more information.

There is a bit more in this newsletter than usual. My thinking was to cover the dearth of bee-related stimulation you may suffer over our summer break from bee-club.

Included is a rather lengthy 'news' section with links to all the stories from ABC Rural to keep you up to date with the latest bee news.

Don't forget to check-out our Ads section towards the bottom of the newsletter. You may find just what you're looking for!
Club Meetings:
Take place on the 2nd Thursday of each month  starting at 7.30pm at  St Peters Anglican Church Hall, Cnr McCartin & Bruce St's, Leongatha. The meeting is followed by supper with tea, coffee and nibblies.
Any donations to the supper table are gratefully accepted.
(please check your emails, the club website and this newsletter for occasional changes to the meeting dates)
GAA Beekeeping Field Day at 252 Colquhoun Rd, Lakes Entrance.
The day will be focused on informing the less experienced and beginner beekeepers on the basics of beekeeping. 
Download the flyer HERE and the map HERE

For November John Edmonds will be back to talk to us about re-queening and swarm control.

Our annual end of year breakup will be held at Dumbalk Memorial Park again beginning at 12md info below.

We will send you a reminder email early in the year of the meeting date and the theme for the night.

GAA Field Day
10am-3.30pm $10pp 
Sunday 8th November

November Meeting
Thursday 12th

Special speaker: John Edmonds
Christmas BBQ
Sunday November 29th

First Meeting for the Year

Thurs February 11th

Sunday 29th November - 12.00 midday
Dumbalk Memorial Park
Cnr Nerrena Road & Miller Street, Dumbalk
(Beside the General Store corner Farmers Road)
BYO - Plates, Cutlery, Drinks and Chairs
 BBQ & Salads are provided.
RSVP: For catering purposes please contact
Kate 5169 6626 or Bronwyn 5655 1936
by Friday 20th November.
There is a large sheltered area if the weather is inclement so please don't let that keep you away.
There is also a lovely playground, big shady trees and plenty of loos close by.
We would LOVE to see as many members as possible at our breakup -
There's nothing sadder than sitting in that beautiful park with oodles of food and very few to share it with.
Above: Crab-Apple Blossom with bees busily collecting pollen

Selling Your Honey: Requirements & Legalities

by Colin Goodwin
Colin has gone 'above and beyond' once again; this time with his investigations into the requirements and legalities surrounding the selling of honey.

Anyone who has tried to look into this will know that it's not all that terribly straight forward so to have it all presented in this document has taken all of hard work out of it for the rest of us.

Apart from the facts and figures, this article contains some very useful and interesting information. Some things which we discuss as being in the 'grey' area are put down here quite clearly in black and white therefore dispelling any confusion. There are a lot of 'must include's' for instance in reference to the labelling of honey. Best before dates are included, as are batch ID numbers and lots of stuff I hadn't given a thought to!

So, just click on the link HERE and download the document for a good read & future reference.
And Thanks Colin for doing the hard yards for us.

Fermented Honey - Okay to eat or not?

"Does honey go rancid, or ferment?"
"I buy my honey (raw) from a beekeeper. The honey that I have now, which I bought last winter, is from last fall's collection. It is very dark.
It took me a long time to (get around to decanting) it from the bucket (sealed) into the gallon pickle jars that I normally keep it in. By the time I got around to it, it had already partially crystallized. Now, the honey in the jars is "layered", almost like sedimentary layers. It has layers of crystallized honey, and layers of fluid honey. It smells very... strongly. Almost like it's fermented, kind of an alcoholic smell. I've been told that honey doesn't "go bad". Why does my honey smell so very strongly? Is it still ok to use? There isn't any appearance of mold, though I do notice some foamy like appearance on the top of it."
I read the letter above recently online, on a forum and copied it as it described perfectly what we had experienced in two jars of honey from last years crop. The honey looked the same. It was layered, a little dark and kind of foamy. As soon as I opened it, it became clear that this honey wasn't quite right. I didn't taste it but probably should have.

Here is one of the answers provided on the forum and although not substantiated it does put forward an interesting argument: 
My experience of fermented food tells me that it increases the nutritional benefit of the food.
The fermenting process releases or generates considerably more nutrition - apparently up to 50% of some nutrients. B vitamins are often increased exponentially, and also minerals like magnesium, so as honey is already a very nutritious food, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you saw more benefits with the fermented honey.
Most indigenous cultures include some kind of fermented food in their diet. Yogurt, Kefir, Kimchi, Kombucha, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, surstromming, even wine and other fermented beverages feature largely in most cultures. Bread dough was traditionally left to rise for many hours - often overnight - and in the case of things like traditional pizza dough and sourdough breads as long as 24 - 36 hours (my extremely gluten-intolerant husband can eat my slow-rise bread made with wheat flour and a little yeast and left to rise slowly in the fridge overnight, without any problems. Unfermented, or short-fermented wheat products turn him into 'Attila the Hun' for the best part of a week).  
The fermenting process helps to break down sugars and awkward proteins (especially in the case of the foreign difficult-to-digest proteins that are found in modern highly-hybridized wheat, barley and rye) for better digestion by the body, and it also generates more of the nutritional elements - vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, etc., that helps the body digest and process its food for the maximum benefit.
It isn't easy to find information as to whether fermented honey is okay to eat or not and certainly nothing of an official nature. Below are some opinions on the matter. In the end I guess it is up to each individual to make the decision for themselves.
Sally Fallon Morell from The Weston A Price Foundation wrote the article: Fermented Honey available HERE
Another 2 articles on the storage of honey are available to read HERE & HERE  Although this page is in the form of an advertisement it still has some interesting information included.

Quiz Time

Do you know what this is?
Well, apart from a bee being held in a most undignified position, what we can see here are the flakes of wax which have been produced by the wax glands on the under side of the bee! The glands convert the sugar in the honey into wax, which seeps through small pores in the bee's body creating wax flakes. These flakes are then chewed by the bees. and added to the construction of the honeycomb. 
Do you know what this is?
Bees do not consume their pollen fresh. Instead, they take it into the hive and pack the granules into empty comb cells, mixing it with nectar and digestive fluids and sealing the cell with a drop of honey.
Once processed in this way, the pollen remains stable indefinitely. Beekeepers call this form of pollen ‘perga’ or ‘bee bread’ which the bees eat or feed to the brood.
Megan Hewett from Melaleuca Nursery has passed on the Power Point presentation of her talk at our meeting last month. Included are many suggestions for plantings for bees, birds and butterflies
Click HERE to view it.
🔥Another reminder about:
Smoker Safety from the CFA
🔥pdf available HERE🔥
With hot weather and dry conditions on the way it is really important for us all to know what is expected of us with regard to the use of our smokers during the fire danger period. Please take the time to read the pdf document linked above. Thank You

Global & Local Bee News: from & ABC Rural

October 29th.

Substance from Australian bees could be used to relieve arthritis and heal wounds faster

Biomedical science PhD student Karina Hamilton has been studying a cerumen (propolis) produced by the stingless bees for three years.She investigated 180 different chemical compounds within the cerumen and found four compounds in particular possessed the wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and anti
-oxidant characteristics
Read the full article HERE

October 23rd.
Tasmanian Beekeepers unable to meet crop pollination requirements as honey production at risk from sprays
Read more HERE and listen to the interview with Julian Wolfhagen
October 23rd.
Food fraud needs to be tackled by global integrity body, agribusiness expert says:
A leading global financial services firm says the only way to effectively tackle international food fraud is to establish a food integrity body.

Using the export-driven nation of New Zealand as an example, Mr Proudfoot said local honey and kiwifruit were two of the most counterfeited high-value products."Manuka honey is one big risk," he said."We know there is probably 10 times more Manuka honey being sold globally than is actually produced in New Zealand because of people counterfeiting the product. 

Read the full article HERE

October 19th
Diesel fumes alter half the flower smells bees need

 Source: University of Southampton
Summary: In polluted environments, diesel fumes may be reducing the availability of almost half the most common flower odors that bees use to find t
heir food, research has found. The new findings suggest that toxic nitrous oxide (NOx) in diesel exhausts could be having an even greater effect on bees' ability to smell out flowers than was previously thought. NOx is a poisonous pollutant produced by diesel engines which is harmful to humans, and has also previously been shown to confuse bees' sense of smell, which they rely on to sniff out their food.

Read the full article HERE

October 16th

National Bee Pest Surveillance Program to be reviewed

Australia is the only country yet to contract the destructive bee pest, the Varroa mite, unlike neighbouring countries such as New Zealand, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. However, Australia trades with these countries, and therefore there is a high risk that infected bees could travel by cargo ship and enter Australia undetected.It recently came to light that the port of Albany in Western Australia's Great Southern had gone without bee pest surveillance for at least the last 18 months.

Read the full article HERE

October 6th. 

New South Wales beekeepers are concerned changes to land ownership may affect the industry.

Private land where a number of hives had been located in agreements between the operator and property holder have been transferred to National Parks and Wildlife Service. Mr Bingley said that with 30 sites likely to be affected, it was not just a matter of those affected approaching another nearby landholder.

Read the full article HERE

Dance of the Bee - Life Matters - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Thanks Kate Senko for sending this podcast interview with Martin Friedel - listen HERE
A brief explanation:

What do you get when you combine the sound of buzzing bees, piano music composed by one of our top composers played by one of our top pianists and the sound of Melbourne’s Astra choir?An interspecies musical collaboration about to start up in Melbourne, called “Dance of the Bee” 

It will feature three pianos, played by four pianists, a swarm of bees on stage housed inside a sculpted plastic transparent hive and the voices of the Astra Choir.
It’s the brainchild of Emmy Award winning Australian composer and apiarist Martin Friedel along with renowned pianist Michael Kieran Harvey.

( A reminder about our new )
Archives & Nuc List Additions to our Website
There are 2 new pages on our website - 'Newsletter Archives' AND 'Speaker Archives'- These pages will have past newsletters and speakers available for viewing. If you have deleted a newsletter and want to read it again or missed a guest speaker it's all there for you on the new pages.
The Committee has agreed that the establishment of a Nuc List could be advantageous for the club.
This list would provide access:
1. For people who have split their hives or have established swarm colonies that they wish to sell.
2. For people wishing to purchase a small colony of bees for starting out or simply to increase the number of their hives.
Races of the bees will vary.
Cost will be at the discretion of the seller and not funded or taxed by the club.
Please direct expressions of interest to the Nuc List co-ordinator
Peter Gatehouse: ph: 56681815 - 0437 627443 - email:

Plants for Bees - Flowering NOW!

The Dilemma/Decision
This is Hawthorn. Yes, that's right, it is rotten, stinken, loathsome bloody Hawthorn. It's the size of a house and I cannot bring myself to rip it up - I just can't! This (aforementioned r s l b) Hawthorn is about 10 metres behind our home hives and it is the epitome of ambrosia (if that's even possible as perhaps one superlative cancels out the other, both being at the very top of their game) for our bees. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a terrible uprising, the likes of which none of us could ever imagine, if we were to fling out this thorny devil of a tree. That isn't the real reason it's not going though, it's not fear, it's sympathy. It's knowing that I would be depriving our bees of a 'tree of life' as it were, right at their back door. Imagine, if you will, that you have, in your backyard, a gorgeous heated horizon pool with a spa, heated change rooms and a buffed Nordic masseuse (male or female, still buffed, still Nordic) -  and somebody, for arguments sake perhaps a government body of some kind, took it upon themselves to smash it to smithereens under the auspice of it being for 'the greater good' of society. I don't know about you but I would more than likely go and blow-up the council chambers. This is exactly how my bees would feel. EXACTLY! So you see my dilemma and now I'm sure you also understand my decision. And I feel vindicated, fully, in the knowledge that I will not be responsible for the terrible uprising of bees which would undoubtedly have occurred had I removed that gorgeous and spectacular pollen and nectar rich tree.
Leptospermum Study & AFB Kits
Forms to accompany samples are available at club meetings from Bronwyn or through our webpage.
Just go to the Information page and click on the link under Australian Leptospermum Study.

AFB Testing Kits are now available through the club
Pick them up either at club nights or from Bronwyn in Korumburra


Nucleus Hives for SALE
Nice bees with new Italian Queens
$80 in your own box
Contact: Howard Stevens: 5662 2280
Fishers Beekeeping Supplies

Rob & Sharon Fisher (Dumbalk area)
56644323 & 0437501133

Jeeralang Apiary Supplies

60 Koala Drive
Jeeralang Junction
51222641 & 0413136878
The Bunyip Beekeeper
Kangaroo Island Ligurian Queen Bees and Nucleus hives: Pre-order open for Mid-December availability: Queens @ $27.50 each or $23.37 for members of the club when ordering online using the "SGBC" coupon. or Nucs@ $198 each. Limited availability.
Paradise Honey Bee Boxes: Hardened lightweight polystyrene bee hives $209 unassembled kits including queen excluder & entrance reducer OR $533 assembled, painted with frames and hive lock.These hives are long lasting and provide excellent thermal efficiency. 8 Frame gear to be announced soon!
AFB & EFB Diagnostic Kits, Swarm Lures and Small Hive Beetle traps also available.
William Rogers
The Bunyip Beekeeper
6 Webb St Bunyip Vic 3815 - Ph: 0487 100 001 -
Facebook: thebunyipbeekeeper
2016 Bee Calendars
for sale
Great Christmas Present!
David Barton Photography
Limited Edition: $25 each(postage add $5) Contact: David Barton: 0433035144.
Here are some sample pics below


Basic Minimal ads containing a business description and contact details are available to club members
only for bee related wares.
Contact Bronwyn on 5655 1936

Peter Galt - Ph: 0409 953 295.

Cheques: Made payable to:
South Gippsland Beekeepers
C/O P. Galt 31 Fairview Ave Yarram 3971
Pay using direct debit. Info on our website

12 Month Single membership - $46
12 Month Family membership - $62
Mentor's List


Keith GRAY






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

Jeeralang Junction: 9am- 6pm - 51222641,0413136878 

Beekeeper & Bee Equipment - Swarms - NO

Berry Creek: Most days - 56688250, 0427688250 Beekeeper, Interested in Top Bar Hives Swarms - NO

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

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

Leongatha Sth: 8am - 9pm Any day 56642358
General Beekeeping - Swarms - YES

Moyarra: 4pm - 7pm Mon-Fri 56573322 0421323707
Hobbyist Beekeeper & Orchardist - Swarms - NO

Inverloch: Up to 10pm Any day 56743605, 0418523931
Hobbyist Beekeeper, Flora Sth Gippsland - Swarms - YES

Equipment Hire

2 day rentals:
Package: Decapping knife, plastic tubs, extractor & strainer $30
Decapping knife and tubs $20
Extractor alone $15
Contact David on 0433 035144 12pm-7pm
Pick-up and drop off from Korumburra or Club meeting

Swarm List

Please contact Sharon Fisher on 5644323 if you wish to be put on the swarm-list. Make sure you are prepared, in case you have to collect the swarm yourself. Let Sharon know if you need help to collect the swarm. 
If you are on the list but no longer want to collect swarms please let Sharon know so that she can remove your name and give the swarm to the next person on the list. Thankyou

Our Library

Why not take a look at the books that are available for loan at the next meeting. There is a range of books covering many topics.
Just register the book you take in the loans book, and sign it back in again when it is returned.
Borrowing is on a monthly basis so please don't forget to bring your borrowed books back to the next meeting. If it is not wanted by another club member you are welcome to borrow it again for another month. Thanks
NEW TO OUR LIBRARY: Hopefully by the time we have our next meeting an updated version of 'The Australian Beekeeping Guide' by Russell Goodman will be available from our library.
Executive Committee
Steve Lovie ....... ph: 0488 622890 - 56642277 - email:
Peter Gatehouse ...... ph: 56681815 - 0437 627443 - email:
Colin Goodwin ..... ph: 0438 545 145 - email:
Bronwyn Barton ....... ph: 56551936 - 0433 035143 - email:
Treasurer (M'ship):    
Peter Galt ....... ph: 0409 953295 email:
All correspondence for the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE can be sent to
Equipment and Property Manager: David Barton 0433035144
Newsletter: Bronwyn Barton ....... ph: 56551936 - email:
Swarm Coordinator: Sharon Fisher ....... ph: 56644323 - email:
If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints about the newsletter please contact Bronwyn on 0433035143 or email:
General Club Inquires for new members etc. can be addressed to
Please send newsletter submissions to or if using snail mail, please send to
SGB Newsletter
c/o B Barton
52 Elmores Rd
Korumburra 3950

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


Our FB page is called
South Gippsland Beekeepers

Other FB pages of interest are
Wannabee? Linking Gippsland farmers and beekeepers
Gippsland Beekeepers