South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc. Newsletter
May 2016
Issue #46
If you require any club or beekeeping information not included in this newsletter it may be on the website
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.
(please check your emails, the club website and this newsletter for occasional changes to the meeting dates)

president's report - may 2016
Another month bites the dust in a rapidly disappearing year and our poor newsletter editor has had to yet again give me subtle reminder for my report.  I don’t know where the year is going.
I have my bees packed down for the year and am quite surprised at the late flow of honey.  I have promised myself, yet again, I will have my boxes painted and frames prepared ready to go for the coming season. We’ll see.
I attended the GAA field day at Darnum recently and would like to congratulate them on another great day.  Well done to all, especially the person who organised the weather. Perfect.
At our last meeting Peter Wright from Grassy Spur Olives was a very informative speaker showing how he has incorporated beekeeping into his Olive grove.  It was very surprising to hear how placing bees has helped increase the pollination in his groves and others as well.  His cold press certainly looked very impressive as well as the award tally.  I have tried the oil that I purchased on the night and was most impressed.  In relation to our guest speakers, be mindful, if the opportunity arises to purchase their products, it’s a supportive way of saying thankyou for giving their time to our club.
I’d also like to thank Daniel for his expertise in helping me to get the projector up and running for Peter’s presentation.  A younger head is sometimes useful for these things.
Our guest speaker for our May meeting will be Ron Branch from GAA. He was one of the presenters at their GAA field day and is more than happy to come along and share his experience.  Ron is going to talk on how we can deal with our cappings and burr comb etc. As we have a lot of our newer members extracting for the first time, it will be a great opportunity to find out how to make use of these bi products.  Ron will also bring along feeders he has designed himself for us to have a look at.  Ron has mentioned to me, he is more than happy to answer any questions in regard to beekeeping not just bi products.  So come armed with the questions you have always wanted to ask.
Our Librarian Lynda has put out a mayday call in regard to us only having one book left in the library.  These books are for everyone to use.  You can take any book for the month but if you haven’t finished it bring it back and if no one else wishes to borrow it, you can take it again for another month.
Hope to see you all there.
Happy Beekeeping,
Steve Lovie

2016 calendar

May Meeting:
Ron Branch from the GAA will be speaking about what we can do with our cappings etc. He will also be taking questions on anything bees.

June Meeting:
Pizza night! - Woohoo!

Come along for this very informal evening where there will be ample pizza for all with cold drinks and the usual tea and coffee supplied.

July AGM and Costume Extravaganza!


May Club Meeting
Thursday May 12th 7.30pm


June Club Meeting & Pizza Night
Thursday June 9th 7.30pm


July AGM
Thursday July 14th 7.30pm


Just a little word or two about the:



So, it's almost time to dust off the thinking caps, glue guns, sequins, safety pins, taffeta and florist's wire.
I think I speak for everyone when I ask that, under no circumstances is there to be ANY spandex within at least 1 km of the AGM Costume Extravaganza. Not that we've had any in the past BUT I'm just a little worried about the odd sense of humour occasionally displayed by some of our members.

Perhaps first may I suggest for those looking to acquire a little costume inspiration that pinterest or the floral section at Spotlight could prove most beneficial.

We have LOTS of Door Prizes, Raffle plus 1st 2nd & 3rd Costume Prizes and the only catch is for you to unload yourself of just a few dollars to update your club membership 

I ask you - Does it get any better than this?

Make sure that you're there early so that you can pay your membership and secure your tickets for the door prize & raffle. It's sure to be a bottleneck down at the Treasurer's table.

Below are some suggestions if you're really stuck for a costume . . . . . 

Yes I'm as surprised as you are but some monkeys ARE pollinators although perhaps not the
'Wicked-Witch-of-the-West's' Winged Monkeys.
It's a Hummingbird - another pollinator.

2016 sustainability festival - coal creek, korumburra
This year's Gippsland Sustainability Festival was held at Coal Creek in Korumburra. Thanks to Kate, Graham, Helen & Ian who set up but had to leave soon afterwards. The marquee was left in the capable hands of Peter Gatehouse, Peter Evans and his kind friend (whose name escapes me - I apologise) Colin & Libby, Howard &, to a lesser extent, myself.
Honey tasting was as popular as ever and our display hive box was of great interest to many people also.
We were able to display our beautiful new bee posters purchased recently expressly for this purpose.
So many people were/are interested in keeping bees with a number showing interest in joining the club and enrolling in classes to learn more and prepare them for becoming beekeepers.
Although the Festival wasn't teeming with people there was a fairly constant number at our marquee talking to our crew and taking the Beginner Beekeeping agNotes provided.
The Festival itself grows a little each year and is certainly worth the visit. The food was healthy and delicious as was the coffee.

photographic hive display
We hope to have a 'photographic' hive ready for our next marquee display. The idea was passed onto us by Kate Senko who saw one on her travels and was discussed at our Committee meeting also.
The concept is a normal Langstroth box with 8 frames which have a life sized photograph on each side showing exactly what the inside of a hive looks like, right down to the order of nectar, honey and pollen stores. Brood frames will demonstrate the development from egg through to pearly white grubs and capped brood and hopefully some hatching bees as well.
We are very excited at the prospect of this photographic hive which should be of great interest not only with our marquee but also for beginner beekeepers within the club to help identify all aspects of life within the hive.

Below are some pics from this year's Sustainability Festival
Clockwise from top left: 1.Helen & Colin chatting about beekeeping 2.The music was very entertaining and not too loud!,
3. Some of our helpers: Libby, Colin, Peter and Howard, 4. Fancy a Worm Farm? 5.Healthy options wherever you look and a lovely playground for the kids.

queen not laying?
For the inexperienced beekeeper, be aware that it is quite normal for queens to stop laying in late autumn until early spring when no nectar and pollen is available. Many beekeepers in their learning years, including myself , have been alarmed to find no signs of brood in their hives and come to the conclusion that hives are queen-less. If the bees do not become distressed (wholesale fanning) when the hive is opened and smoked, it is almost sure that the queen is present. She is very hard to locate, because under adverse nectar/pollen conditions she shrinks to the size of a worker bee and it takes an experienced eye to identify her.

Today in the Apiary: Edward J.(Eddy) Moylan

planting for april/may foraging?
Thanks to Libby Anthony for supplying me with a list of plants she has observed her bees foraging on over the Autumn:
Clockwise from top: Sunflower, Rosemary, Persicaria decipiens, Lime blossom, White Gaura.
Libby & Colin's bees are also visiting the Salvias, Borage & white Alyssum.
Photos courtesy of google


outback honey in Broken Hill - 28th april 2016

Former miner finds making honey in the outback is bee's knees

Full story from ABC Rural HERE
Or listen to the Audio HERE

using tasmanian bumblebees for tomato pollination - 22nd april 2016

Calls to allow bumblebees in Tasmanian greenhouses

The representative body for fruit growers in the state, Fruit Growers Tasmania, said they wanted research to be carried out to find a productive use for the existing feral bumblebee population.

Full story from ABC Rural HERE

honey production could be boosted by genetic testing - 21st April 2016
In a pilot study by the University of New England, which is using modern genetic techniques similar to those used in the livestock industries, the ­average hive production could increase by about 1kg a year in Australia.
Full story from the Weekly Times HERE

backyard beekeeping still on the rise - 18th april 2016

Hobby to multi-million dollar industry: backyard beehives leading to growth

Beekeeping has become a common hobby in Australia, with new figures showing backyard hives make up over a third of new registrations.
Full Story from ABC Rural HERE
Or listen to the Audio HERE

more planting for april/may foraging
Flowering in the Barton garden and covered with bees are pictured below: Clockwise from top left: Banksia Spinulosa, Red Salvia, Purple & white Penstemon & Correa Alba
Banksia photo courtesy of google

some notes on packing down & winter survival
It is absolutely imperative that hives going into winter have honey stores in the brood combs adjacent to the actual brood. Bees in a starvation scenario will not survive one night of severe frost.

Most will be familiar with the practice of reducing hive size down to one box, widely known as "pack-down".
At the same time as we are reducing the area that has to be kept warm we are looking at the colony for abnormalities and ensuring that there is adequate honey stores in the brood box. At least four full frames of sealed honey and honey around the perimeter of the brood nest would be desirable. If the queen is already off the lay, all frames of capped honey could be found. Do not be alarmed, the queen is there but reduced in size and not readily seen.

Q:What can the beekeeper do to create an environment that is complementary to hive temperature control?
A1: Hives are best to be facing East to North-East to avoid the full force ofwinter winds and driving rain.

A2: Driving rain will enter the hive, so it is necessary to have the hive sloping down towards the entrance to allow this water to drain out. It is desirable under winter conditions to maximize the amount of time that the hive is exposed to sunshine.

A3:Consideration should be given to hive stands that lift the hive above ground level where the ground is wet and cold. This creates a dry environment for the actual hive and some reports suggest that the incidence of Nosema and the like disease is reduced.

A4:To those who may move a number of hives to rural  locations - avoid open paddocks without any geographical features. Choose locations that give protection from the elements.
An added hazard in moving to open spaces is the problem of 'drifting'. Bees become disorientated in a new location and go into the wrong hives on the first day which can result in imbalance of hive populations

A5: We are looking for geographical features. Some beekeepers vary the direction of the entrance of adjacent boxes, avoiding straight orderly rows. Most importantly, place apiaries if possible among scattered trees and/or shrubs.

did you know?
The three main scenarios that negatively impact on bee colonies at this time of year are, in general, a lack of stored pollen and nectar resources, low outside temperatures and excessive internal hive environment dampness. Bees do not hibernate in the true sense of the word, but regulate their hive temperature by clustering.  .....  Under low temperatures the colony forms a cluster around the brood combs to maintain temperature control. The lower the temperature, the tighter the cluster. The bees on the outside become chilled, so after a tour of duty they interchange with warm bees from within the cluster.  ..... A colony normally covering eight frames will contract down to somewhere about four frames under winter conditions.
from: Today in the Apiary: Edward J.(Eddy) Moylan

beekeepers etiquette
MANNERS FOR BEEKEEPERS (Beekeeper Etiquette)
Submitted by Howard Stevens.
  1. Don’t place your bees over the fence near someone else’s. – No one gets a feed.
  2. When looking for a suitable site, get a general idea of which area works and do keep away from other beekeepers.
  3. Don’t pinch other beekeepers former sites.  Talk to the person whose site is was to ensure they are happy with you using this site.
  4. Keep site locations of other beekeepers confidential.  This is especially important for commercial operators you may know.
  5. Ensure you register your hives with the DPI.  This is most important for our bio security.
  6. (Disposal of Hives Form necessary when giving away or selling hives. Also important for bio security.)
  7. Disease -  (AFB/EFB) is spread by spores.
  •             Check for disease
  •             Do a Gribbles AFB test and use your capping honey as a sample
  •             Be ultra careful in exchanging materials.  If repaying materials repay in new material. 
  •             If working someone else’s hives, when using your hive tool, have it thoroughly clean. 
  •             All equipment should be cleaned before using on another yard. 

presentation by Peter Wright - Grassy Spur Olives - click HERE
Peter has supplied us with this visual presentation from his chat to us at the April Meeting. Also included is his Beekeeping Calendar Spreadsheet which you may find a beneficial guide to remind you of the tasks you should be undertaking during Autumn and Winter.

missed any guest speakers? watch the video on you Tube
If you missed out on any of our speakers or would like to listen again you can catch up on our Guest Speaker's Videos page on the website.
Just follow the link from there to YouTube  and choose the speaker you would like to listen to.

At the recent Sustainability Festival at Coal Creek in Korumburra I was approached by a gentleman regarding the TreeProject. He gave me a flyer which I will précis for you.

TreeProject is a not for profit, non-government environmental organization that assists with re-vegetation projects on rural properties. The main aim of the TreeProject is to create opportunities for people to do something positive for the environment by growing and planting indigenous trees and plants.
Since 1988 TreeProject has been recruiting and training volunteers to propagate indigenous seedlings in their backyards in order to provide low cost seedlings to landholders struggling to repair some of Victoria's environment problems.
As well as planting trees that assist with carbon sequestration, TreeProject also plants under-storey shrubs and grasses. This ensure biodiversity, provides habitat for native animals, improves waterways and battles erosion and salinity.

Memberships are available as are seedling sales from the website.
The seedlings cost $175 for 500 seedlings. Additional orders are made in increments of 500
For more information check the TreeProject web site.

where are all the library books???
Our 'Librarian' Lynda has informed me that she only has one - that is 1 - uno - singular - solo - lonely little book in the library at the moment.
Our library has a monthly borrowing system which is in place to make sure that everyone has access to all of our books at each meeting.
If you have one or more of the books on loan would you please return it/them at the next meeting. If Lynda isn't at the meeting you can give the books to myself, Bronwyn. If no-one else takes it out by the end of supper you are of course welcome to re-borrow it.
Thank-you for your co-operation.

jeeralang apiary supplies
Stan Glowacki
60 Koala Drive
Jeeralang Junction
51222641 & 0413136878

fishers beekeeping supplies
Rob & Sharon Fisher (Dumbalk area) 56644323 & 0437501133

the bunyip beekeeper 
The Bunyip Beekeeper
6 Webb St Bunyip Vic 3815 - Ph: 0487 100 001 -
Facebook: thebunyipbeekeeper

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 at club nights.

club shirts & caps still available for sale
Caps $20
Shirts $30 - limited number of assorted sizes available

newsletter advertising & content
Ads are available to club members only for bee related wares or to contribute to the newsletter
Contact Bronwyn on 0433035143

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 - YES

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


Steve Lovie ....... ph:0488 622890 email:
Peter Gatehouse ...... ph:56681815 - 0437 627443 - email:
Colin Goodwin ..... ph:0438 545 145 - email:
secretary: newsletter editor: website editor:             
Bronwyn Barton ....... ph: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


Copyright © 2016 South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc., All rights reserved.

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