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October 2018 Newsletter

Issue #71

Madam President's Chit-Chat 

Spring in South Gippsland is living up to it's reputation. You know the one, fleeting warm sunny days which tease us into thinking that Spring is here then howling wind off the Antarctic ice, horizontal rain and cold, cold nights. 

Our queens have been racing around laying eggs in anticipation of the Spring abundance; those eggs, now developed and emerging en masse, are finding themselves confined to the hives on a regular basis. But each day more and more Spring plants are flowering, so at least the bees now have multiple floral sources to choose from when the weather is fine enough for them to venture out.

Our speaker at last month's meeting, Simon Mildren, chatted about the new Hive Keepers App. This was a timely reminder to start record keeping right from the very start of the season and using the app. sounds like a very efficient and comprehensive way of doing this. If you want to catch up on his talk please go to our YouTube channel. David has promised to post it up there in the next few days. 
Our panel on Spring Hive Checks with  Peter, Jeff & Rob and Graham as MC was well received with many questions answered from the different perspectives of each beekeeper.

This month's meeting we will hear John Edmonds talking about queen rearing and no doubt a few other things as well. John is a great speaker and good value as his knowledge base on all things beekeeping is huge. 

I will not be attending the meeting due to a family commitment but will catch up on the video when I get home. 
See you all in November.

Bron Barton

President: SGB


SGB Meeting Nights:

Thursday October 11th 7.30pm

Special speaker - John Edmonds
1.John will be speaking on re-queening and a new supplement used in that process

2.You will be able to exchange wax for foundation sheets from Stan Glowacki - Jeeralang Apiaries. This is NOT weight for weight.

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
* Beginners Q & A
* News
* 'Visit a Beekeeper'
* Beginners Circle
* Ads
* SGB Committee

Beginner's Circle ------- NEW
As there are so many new beekeepers joining the club on a regular basis it has been decided to extent the support and encouragement the club endeavours to give our newbies.
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.
Bendigo Branch Annual Field Day
Sunday October 14th. Details in flyer link above.
from VAA Bendigo Branch: A reminder that we are selling mated queen bees again this year. If wishing to order these please either phone Max on 5446 7911 or EMAIL your order.

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 couple of 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.

Beginners Q & A 

Q  When starting out a package how many hive bodies (Brood boxes) do I use?
A When starting out a new package you want to use only one box. You never want to give the bees more room than what they need starting out.

Q  I have one colony and its starting to look very under-populated, what can I do?

A It is recommend having two colonies in the event something happens to one colony. The second colony can be used as needed to bring a weak colony back to where it should be. In the event you only have one colony and it’s getting very weak the first thing you will want to do is remove the colony and place it in a Nuc.(5 frame box) Start feeding ASAP. If you know another bee keeper that you trust has healthy bees ask for a frame of capped brood to give your colony a population boost

Q  When do I add a second hive body (Brood box) to my colony?
A  Remember we do not want to give the bees anymore room than what they need which allows the bees to better defend the entrance and fight off unwanted pests. We advise adding another super only after at least (6) of eight frames are completely drawn out with comb or when the bees are drawing out the final outer two frames.


Q   When do I start adding honey supers?
 This all depends on several factors and can be different from colony to colony. We normally will not start adding  honey supers until all frames in the top brood chamber have been drawn and surplus honey is being placed in the outer most frames. At this point we are looking for a healthy populated colony that’s ready to start pulling comb and bringing in nectar.


About 1 million bees dead in NT after second suspected deliberate poisoning incident in a year

Almost 20 per cent of Australian honey samples found to not be pure

Sam Curtis found the dead bees inside and near their boxes on a track outside Katherine, a few kilometres off the Victoria Highway, in July.Last week he received confirmation from a laboratory that the bees had died from Fipronil poisoning — an insecticide commonly used to kill termites.

The study, conducted by a team of scientists at Macquarie University, used 100 samples of honey sourced globally, including 38 Australian-branded honey samples.
Natural Beekeeping: a Principles Based Approach.
Claims of Australian Honey Adulteration from the Macquarie University of Sydney.

But why natural beekeeping? Why not just keep bees in the ‘normal’ way?
Well, from our perspective, and the perspective of a growing number of natural beekeepers worldwide, for some very good reasons….

Honey adulteration is in the news again; but this time the claim is that honey sold as pure Australian honey is being systematically adulterated. (And the testing was done in Australia using the current C4 test, not NMR.)


Beginners Circle

A visitor to our club from Canberra had a chat with me about the benefits of including a Beginners Circle to each meeting night.
I thought this was a fantastic idea and raised it with the committee who all instantly concurred.
The way it works is that the hall will be opened early and available from 7pm - 7.25pm on all meeting nights for anyone who wishes to sit in on a chat session. This can either take the form of just beginners getting together sharing their experiences or the presence of a more experienced beekeepers who will be able to answer questions or assist in situations which have arisen.
We understand that sometimes asking what one feels is a dumb question in front of 50 or so beekeepers later in the night, can seem rather intimidating. Please remember that we've all been there as beginners and made our fair share of mistakes but there's no doubt that it is relieving to talk to others of equal experience and share what you have found to work or not work in your situation.
Beginners Circle will begin at 7pm on November 8th  

New Program - Visit a Beekeeper

This program has been designed to give everyone the opportunity of seeing and working with an experienced beekeeper as he/she examines their hives.
You will need to bring your own protective clothing, including gloves and gumboots (or gaiters). Bring a bottle of water, if the day is hot.

Please send expressions of interest to Peter Gatehouse 0423 244107 and he will let you know of the date an inspection is going to take place closest to your area. Confirmation is required within 24hrs of notification or your place will be forfeited.
          Mentors List

Thank you to these Club Members who have kindly offered to share their expertise to
any beekeepers who are in need of some advice. 
Please respect the times noted below for contact availability.

Peter GATEHOUSE: Mirboo Nth - 0423 244107:
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:0413136878: 9am-6pm
Beekeeper & Bee Equipment

Bill RINGIN - Moe - 56331326: daytime/evening till 10pm
Hobbyist Beekeeper will help with swarms.
Dennis ROBERTS - Foster - 56822339: Mon - Fri 9am-6pm

Robert SPRATT - Leongatha Sth - 56642358: 8am-8pm any day
General Beekeeping will help with swarms.
Guidelines to help members understand the roles of our Mentors will be included in the next newsletter. 


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
I am sorry for this very late and very short newsletter.
The last few weeks have been rather frenetic leaving me little time to prepare a meaty newsletter for you all.
I will endeavour to fill the November newsletter plenty of reading to tide you over the holiday break. 
Thanks for your understanding

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.

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