View this email in your browser

November 2018 Newsletter

Issue #72
This little lady was happily ignoring me invading her personal space with my giant lens
as she foraged away on this Prostanthera (mint bush)  for nectar

Madam President's Chit-Chat

November 2018 

This is the last newsletter for 2018. Wow, that's gone fast. Christmas is just around the corner and summer holidays too. I can't wait for some hot weather although not when it comes to beekeeping I must admit. More on that subject below.

I wasn't able to attend the October meeting due to a family commitment so cannot share details of the meeting with you, sorry about that.

Our November meeting will have the first Beginner's Corner session, which is ironic as it is the last meeting for the year; nevertheless there has been quite some anticipation for this new addition to our meetings. My thanks to the visiting beekeeper, a few months back, who suggested it. Please don't forget that we have a suggestion box, the contents of which are discussed and considered by the committee regularly. Your input is valued.

I went kinda nuts with the camera the other day. Like a kid in a lolly shop with all of the flowers and bees about. The upshot is that this is pretty much a pictorial edition. Hope that's okay and that you enjoy the show.
PLEASE send me any bee or garden pics and stories you would like shared in the newsletter.

Our breakup BBQ will be at Mossvale Park this year. We would love to see you all there. Details are in the newsletter below.

I do hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter and will be well rested and raring to go in February 2019 when I will send out the first newsletter of the year just prior to our first meeting.

The SGB committee and I would like to wish you all the very best for a safe, Happy Christmas and New Year.
Don't forget to keep yourselves nice now. I'll be sticking to the delicious Liqueur Shiraz I picked up in Swan Hill last month. I'll also be hiding it from certain sons-in-law.

Cheers Everyone

Bron Barton
President: SGB


Thursday November 8th 7.30pm

Bill Ringin & CFA chat
1.Bill is coming to chat to us about his participation in the aftermath of the discover of Varroa on a ship at the Port of Melbourne back in June. This should be a cracker of a chat.

2. David Barton is giving a short chat on smoker safely. A timely reminder with Summer just around the corner (at least that's what the calendar says!)

October Newsletter Contents
* Mme President's Chit-Chat
* Calendar
* Christmas BBQ
* A Cautionary Tale
* Beginners Q & A
* Biosecurity for beekeepers & clubs:
....Selling & purchasing used hive equipment
* News
* Research News
* Recipé
* Facts about Bee Venom
* Mentors List & Guidelines
* Ads
* SGB Committee

Beginner's Circle ------- NEW
Begins THIS month!!
Prior to each monthly meeting from 7pm - 7.25pm the hall will be open for beginners to come and sit together to discuss whatever they want and ask questions of a more experienced beekeeper if they wish. 
Please feel free to come along anytime from 7pm.
*This new program will be enhanced by the new 'Visit a Beekeeper' program which encourages beginners to go and participate in an apiary inspection with an experienced beekeeper on set dates. 
Further details in the newsletter below.

🎄🍬🎄End of Year Club Break-up BBQ & Picnic🎄🍬🎄

The venue will be at the beautiful

Mossvale Park 

Sunday December 2nd: 12pm - whenever

You will need to bring your own food and drinks🥂, cutlery,

cooking utensils and seating.

🍪🍰Feel free to bring a plate of dessert to share.🍰🍪

There is a large under-cover preparation table next to the BBQ's

There are a few tables spread out around the park also. 

Mossvale Park has lots of grass and magnificent old trees with wide spreading canopies giving shade to enormous areas around the park. It is quite spectacular.


Toilets and playground are close the the BBQ area

There are only 2 BBQ's so if you are able to bring your own small BBQ it may save waiting, if the park is busy.

Pretty Pictures
I hope you enjoy these pictures of a beautiful Italian bee working the heck out of an apple blossom. It's all the same bee as she works over the top, sides and bottom of the stigma and anthers. If you look closely you can see pollen specks that have fallen off her as she is zipping from one side of the flower to the other.
A Cautionary Tale
Last season I bought a ventilated suit which, although it certainly allows any available breeze to blow through and cool my skin, I have found terribly heavy, bulky and cumbersome to don. My feet get stuck, even when I undo the leg zips and the material itself is quite abrasive as I pull the suit on. The crutch is at my knees, and the legs long enough for when I'm wearing my  40cm stilts (handy). Curiously the sleeves are pretty right and considering that my arms are 50mm shorter than most females that makes me wonder about who or what they measured when devising the sizing for these suits. But it IS cooler, as long as I'm standing still. When I have to walk back up the hill the weight of it is significant and uncomfortable. Ugh. Blah, blah, blah. You could say "She's winging again!" and you'd be right.
So .... as soon as someone makes a ventilated suit that is light, doesn't feel like sand-paper and is sized for a normal'ishly proportioned human, give me a call.
Should have just got the jacket . . . . Oh yes, the definite plus is that I haven't been stung through it. Yay!

Beginners Q & A 

from Benefits of Honey & Bens Bees
Q  What causes bees to sting people? Is it the smell of perfume or lotion, or is it the natural "sweet" scent of human skin?
A There are many reasons why bees are attracted to certain people and one of them could be due to certain smell from the person being detected. However, bees only sting when they sense danger and in defence of themselves or their colony members, and this commonly happens people start to fan off or sweep off the bees that go close to them

Q  Why are thousands of bees sitting quietly in the front of their hive?

A This sounds like bearding, whereby bees quietly hang out at the entrance of the hive to keep themselves cool during a hot weather. The bees may be facing an overcrowding issue and fanning with their wings to keep the temperature in the hive down isn't enough. You may want to ensure that there is a nearby water source for the bees and that there aren't any congestion or ventilation problems in the hive.

Q  Question: Why do bees fly with their legs pointing down and wasps fly with their legs up under their body?

A  Bees sometimes use their huge hind legs to fly faster. By pointing their legs down, it actually helps them create an angle in the air to move faster. It doesn't sound logical because this action seems to do the reverse, ie slow down by creating a drag in the air with their legs down. But bees do it different!

Q   What happens if honey is never taken from a hive?

 The bees will do just fine. They will keep all of their honey. The hive can exist for their own sake and still have a long and productive life.

Q   What is Royal Jelly?

 It's a very special food made just for the queen bee by the worker, nurse bees. It is all the queen bee eats for her entire life.

Read more about Royal Jelly  ... link from Bens Bees

Biosecurity for Beekeepers & Clubs


Advice on the purchasing and selling of used beehive components

Protecting and promoting best-Practice biosecurity when purchasing and selling used (second-Hand) beehive components is vital. By following biosecurity principles you can reduce the spread of honey bee diseases and improve honey bee health.
Remember - it is the responsibility of all beekeepers to reduce the risk of disease spread and incorporate best-practice honey bee biosecurity.

The purchasing and selling of used beehive components presents a serious biosecurity risk that can cause the introduction and spread of honey bee diseases such as AFB. This risk also applies to used components that may have been in storage for many years. AFB spores can remain viable for up to 50 years.
Laboratory analysis is the only proven method to determine if AFB bacterial spores are present on or in used beehive components, it is not possible to observe these spores with the naked eye. AFB brood symptoms (not the spores) can be visually observed only within live colonies and /or dead-out beehives. 
Beehive components include, but are not limited to, boxes, frames, frames with wax comb, lids, bottom boards, queen excluders and escape boards.
Known sources of used beehive components may include beekeeping club field days and auctions, old ware and gift shops, markets and social media
Both sellers and buyers have a responsibility to ensure used hive components are disinfected prior to sale or purchase and are in good condition for intended future use.
Disinfection is only possible by two modes:
1. Disinfection by gamma-irradiation. This should be undertaken by the seller and requested by bee clubs auctioning used beehive components. This is a safe and effective way of disinfection to ensure AFB and other honey bee diseases do not remain active in used components. Gamma-irradiation services are offered by Steritech P/L 
2. Disinfection by hot wax dipping. This method of disinfection should only be undertaken by an experienced commercial operator as it involves prolonged immersion of used beehive components (frames excluded) in a specialised hot wax dipping trough. Extreme hot wax dipping temperature in association with specific immersion time is required for effective disinfection. Some commercial beekeepers offer this disinfection service.
If the decision is not to disinfect used beehive components (not recommended), the components should be used in an apiary separate from other hives and should not be interchanged with those from other beehives or apiaries. The beehive colonies that have been established with non-disinfected hive components should be inspected frequently for the detection of any honey bee disease symptoms. The use of a 'Barrier' system is highly recommended in these circumstances. 
For live honey bee colony sale or purchase the seller and buyer should inspect all brood combs for the presence of any pests and diseases  prior. The buyer should request evidence of colony / apiary disease-free status, such as requesting a current Honey Culture Test with laboratory test results and certification of compliance with the 'Biosecurity Code'.
The seller should remove bee brands from the hive components and complete and submit the DEDJTR 'Disposal of hives' form.
For further info: Agriculture Victoria 
Plant Health Australia - Bee Aware 
Agriculture Victoria apiary Officers:
Joe Riordan: Senior Apiary Officer - Email - Ph: 0417 348457
Daniel Martin: Leading Apiary Officer - Email - Ph: 0428 752 449
Jessica Hartland - BeeBiosecurity Officer - Email - Phone 0447 245 558


Almond orchards give weak bees vital boost during pollination season     

28th October

The single biggest movement of livestock on the Australian agricultural calendar, the bee muster saw billions of bees from the eastern states freighted to Robinvale for the almond pollination season. But organisers were concerned to find that one in 10 bees were "weak" from malnutrition, the result of drought conditions that have reached a climax in 2018 ...

Rescued stingless bees may be key to improving rambutan yields

18th October

Stingless bees that were rescued from a building before it was demolished in the Top End are now being put to use in a research project focusing on improving rambutan yields.The tropical fruit, which tastes similar to a lychee, is harvested during northern Australia's wet season. However, the trees often fail to turn flowers into fruit, much to the frustration of growers ...

Making the queen and other mail bees comfortable for an overseas posting
12th October
Queensland beekeeper Laurie Dewar has been mailing bees interstate and overseas for more than 40 years."There are international regulations through an organisation called International Air Travel Association (IATA) and Australia Post makes sure you mark the express post bag ...

If honey dissolves in water, is it fake? Scientists cast doubt on DIY 'purity' test

4th October

University of the Sunshine Coast's Dr Peter Brooks, a chemist with extensive knowledge of the chemical composition of honey, said he would not trust results to come out of DIY tests found on the internet ...

Research News

Pesticides used in crop protection have a significant negative impact on the learning and memory abilities of bees.
Research has revealed that even at very low field-realistic dosages, pesticides have significant negative effects on bee learning and memory, with worker bees exposed to pesticides less likely to learn and memorise a rewarding scent. Learning abilities are a vital component of the search for food in bees, because individuals must remember what type of flowers to visit, where to find them, which flowers they have recently drained of nectar, and how to find the way back to the hive.
from: The Australasian Beekeeper Vol 120 No 4

Recipe - Irish Tea Brack

Thanks Lynne Fielding!
450g sultanas
450g raisins
450g brown sugar
450ml black tea 450 ml whiskey
450g plain flour
3 eggs (no NOT 450 eggs)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Soak the fruit and sugar in the tea and whiskey overnight. Preheat oven to 190c.
Add eggs, sifted flour, baking powder and spices to the fruit mixture and mix well.
Put into greased loaf tins and bake for 1 hour or until cooked
Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out to cool fully on a wire rack.
I am going to have a go at substituting honey for part or all of the brown sugar. I'll let you know how I go!

Facts about Bee Venom

The venom gland in the bee is present in both the worker and the queen castes, but queens have significantly larger glands than the workers and produce more venom. Queens use venom during fights with other rival queens, an event that occurs as soon as the queen emerges, while fertilised queens rarely use venom. The queen's venom is only half as lethal to mice as worker venom, (poor mice) and by the time queens are one to two years of age their venom has become essentially inactive.
Worker honey bees begin their first use of venom when they are about 14 days old for defence against predators and intruders. Queens never use their stings for defence of the colony. Instead queen stinging is reserve for fighting rival queens just prior to emergence or that emerge during the same time period. Queen venom is more lethal toward other honey bees than is worker venom. The queen fights occur during the first week of adult life, after which time the successful queen has stung or destroyed the rival queens. Once a queen is mature and laying eggs not only has she no need to fight other queens, but also her swollen abdomen renders her incapable of fighting  efficiently. Thus a queen needs a plentiful supply of active venom at emergence and shortly thereafter, but not in later life.
from: The Australasian Beekeeper Vol 120 No 4

Mentors List

Please read the guidelines for the mentoring program


Peter GATEHOUSE: Mirboo Nth -
0423 244 107. Willing to help with onsite problems or guidance and swarms

Ron IRWIN: Mirboo Nth -
5668 1323: 6pm-9pm. Beekeeper will help with swarm collection

Stan GLOWACKI - Jeeralang Junction - 51222641
Mob:0413 136 878: 9am-6pm. Beekeeper & Bee Equipment

Bill RINGIN - Moe -
5633 1326: daytime/evening till 10pm. Hobbyist Beekeeper will help with swarms.

Dennis ROBERTS - Foster -
5682 2339: Mon - Fri 9am-6pm. General Beekeeping will help with swarms.

Robert SPRATT - Leongatha Sth -
5664 2358: 8am-8pm any day. General Beekeeping will help with swarms.
Pretty Pictures
I hope I'm not boring you. But I find these images enchanting and hope you share some of my enthusiasm.
1. The top picture has the sun shining through the bee's wings as they throw shadows over the petals, like sunlight through curtains.
2. The middle left image showing a bee flying to a wisteria flower with her hind legs clasped together, the angle of her legs governs her speed.
3. The middle right image is a a bee on a purple wisteria flower showing pollen in her baskets and the delicate detail of the flowers.
4. The lower left image is a bee looking delightful on a pelargonium flower.
5. The lower right image shows the gorgeous detail of the fine row of hairs on the bees hind right leg.


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

Hill Top Hives 

Nuc's for Sale! Hurry or you may miss out.

Please call for prices on services available eg
* Swarm/hive removals,
* Wax dipping
* Equipment costs.
m: 0423 244107 Peter Gatehouse

Jeeralang Apiary Supplies  
Stan Glowacki
60 Koala Drive
Jeeralang Junction

h: 5122 2641
m: 0413136878

Fishers Beekeeping Supplies

* Beekeeping equipment
* Intro to beekeeping workshops
* Nucleus hives

m: 0437 501 133 Rob
m: 0418 502 396 Shazz

Situated in Dumbalk

Committee Members 2018/19

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.

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

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp