Andy Teitge President
Spring is here (allegedly)! We, on the other hand, have finally made it back to my beloved South Gippsland property, where I have been able to check my home hives. Thankfully, I was able to take part in the last Zoom meeting from hotel quarantine and take in Ally Driessen’s excellent talk on Biosecurity and was thus able to make a better-informed inspection of the girls’ accommodation. Of pest and disease there was little evidence, although one of the hives was damp and clearly in need of better ventilation, hopefully now sorted. I was relieved to find my charges had survived the winter without me and were doing well. As a first-year beekeeper this is a huge relief and definite bonus – maybe we’ll be able to harvest some honey from the home hives this year. On the next warm day, we will have to drive across to a friends farm to check his hives.This is a different proposition to our girls who are extremely chilled and accepting of our interference.
Our friend’s bees are, at best, feisty. If conditions are not warm and the air still, they can be damned right nasty so a decent suit is a must. On our last visit, my poor wife Paula, received 4 stings! 3 though the suit and one whilst undressing – it was chilly and there was a bit of a breeze. Clearly the girls were not amused! His hives were abandoned for five years by a previous apiarist who moved to Adelaide and left them behind. They are an undisciplined, rowdy bunch who need some sorting – we have so far replaced rotting boxes, removed and burned infested frames and replaced 2 of 3 queens. Hopefully we can finish the remedial work this year to end up with workable, productive hives. Why do we do it? For the challenge, satisfaction and, hopefully, honey.
As we are so recently returned from our travels, I will not get into too much club business at this stage, other than to thank the outgoing committee for their longstanding commitment to the club. Likewise, I’m extremely grateful for our new committee members volunteering. We will do our best to make sure the club thrives, fulfils its function as a social forum for apiarists and encourages people take up beekeeping.
I, for one, am looking forwards to a real, face to face, meeting where we can talk to each other freely and enjoy our hobby together. Until then, enjoy your bees and keep safe.
Andy Teitge (President)