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South Gippsland Beekeepers

May 2019 Newsletter
edition #76
Newsletter Contents:
🐝 Presidents Report
🐝 Calendar
🐝 AGM Raffle
🐝 How to Filter Raw Beeswax - Links for Beeswax uses & recipes
🐝 Links of Interest
🐝 Q & A

🐝 Club Merchandise
🐝 Syrup/Sugar Feeders for Bees
🐝 Beekeeping in Antiquity
🐝 Book Review
🐝 Bee Handling Tips
🐝 Ads for our Suppliers
President's Report

Hi Everyone,

During the week I read a lovely story from a lady on the Australian Women in Beekeeping facebook page. She gave me permission to use it in our newsletter:

My son had an interview for what he described as his dream job (working in a live tissue bio-med lab at a hospital). I suggested he mention the beekeeping if it could apply to a question as it's the kind of detail that would make him stand out from other applicants. The question "Are you good at multitasking?' came up and he talked about bee inspections and how hard it can be to keep calm and focused, look for signs of diseases, manipulate frames, look for eggs, keep a note of the stores and all th other things one has to look for...They were so interested that they stopped the interview to ask him questions. He was notified a week later that he got the job!

So good! I just love that story. People, generally, are very interested in bees and beekeeping and seem to hang on every word when you talk about the social & physical structure of hives. Talking to a CWA group a few years back you could have heard a pin drop as I described the process of ordering and receiving queen bees in the mail. It taught me not to be shy talking about my passion. It is one that is quite topical in today's world. Sharing our experiences as beekeepers may be all that is needed in getting someone started on the wonderful journey and lifelong love affair with bees.

Thank you to our speakers at the April meeting. Firstly Peter Gatehouse took our Beginner's Corner, which as always, was very well attended. After the formal meeting we had an informative talk from Colin Goodwin regarding the Broodminder Hive monitoring system which he has been using. Following was a panel chat on 'closing down for winter' with Steve Lovie, David Walker & Peter Galt on a panel and Julian Walker fielding questions. The beauty of 'panel' sessions is the varied experiences, systems and practices shared by those on the panel and the myriad of varied questions which arise. We all learn something.

At the May meeting we will be having Shane Doran talking about the 'fun' of swarm/hive cut-outs and relocations. Shane travels far and wide and has may stories to tell. This will be followed by our Annual Honey and Mead tasting Competition.  There may be a couple of surprise entries on the tasting table too!
Come along and join in the fun of the tasting and voting to crown this year's winners.
You will all be receiving an email (or may have already) with the necessary requirements for entering the competition.
Good- Luck everyone. 

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as can make it to the meeting. 
To you all - happy beekeeping

Bron Barton

The careful insect 'midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies..
~ John Gay 1685 - 1732

2019 Calendar
Club Meeting

Special speaker: Shane Doran,
Bee Relocation Specialist

will be speaking to us about swarm/hive cut-outs and hive relocations.
I'm looking forward to some 'interesting' stories!
and then the .....

2019 SGB
🏆Honey & Mead Competition🏆

 Prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd in both categories.  
Please bring along samples of your honey and mead. Any mead recipes you would like to share may be brought along also. 
Club Meeting

 Pizza Night * Pizza Night * Pizza Night 
YES June is PIZZA NIGHT! Please text Lorrae Hamilton  know if you would like to attend and have any dietary requirements. 
Pizza, Salad, Garlic Bread, Cold Drinks, Hot Drinks and Supper Desserts are provided for all club members and at a charge of $5pp for any non-members.

Details of further activities on the night will follow 
Every Meeting
Beginner's Corner
Will continue before each monthly meeting from 7pm - 7.25 pm.
Bring all your questions, don't be shy!
Julian will be up front to help and guide you.
Newsletter Contents:
🐝 Presidents Report
🐝 Calendar
🐝 AGM Raffle
🐝 Links of Interest
🐝 Q & A
🐝 Club Merchandise
🐝 Beekeeping in Antiquity
🐝 How to Filter Raw Beeswax - Links for Beeswax uses & recipes

2019 Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference 
Full Day Conference, Saturday 15 June, 2019. 8:30am – 5:00pm (Registration and refreshments from 8.00am)
Victorian Recreational Beekeepers Association in collaboration with The Beekeepers Club Inc. have the pleasure in announcing that it will be hosting the 2nd Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference.

The aim of the Conference is to connect with hobbyist, recreational, sideline and commercial beekeepers from across Victoria. Conference delegates will hear from informative and inspiring presenters including researchers, educators, entrepreneurs, biosecurity specialists, innovators and authors.

Conference Program:
Pre Conference Dinner, Friday 14 June, 2019. 7:00pm-10:00pm.


1st PRIZE - 15lt AU Wax Melter with digital control - rrp $595
2nd PRIZE - $50 Gift voucher
from Jeeralang Apiary Supplies - Stan Glowacki
3rd PRIZE - $50 Gift voucher
from Hill Top Hives - Peter Gatehouse
4th PRIZE - $50 Gift voucher
from Fisher's Beekeeping Supplies - Rob Fisher
Tickets $5.00 each - Booklets of 10 tickets available.

Before you get started on making homemade beeswax candleslotion barsreusable food wrapfood-grade crayonscalendula salvehomemade lotion or another project, be aware that unfiltered beeswax comes with bits of propolis and other debris that needs to be removed before it is used.

Links of Interest
Q & A

Q: On my last hive inspection there were no young brood and I couldn't find the queen. What do I do?
A: 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. It takes an experienced eye to identify her. 
Today in the Apiary; Edward J (Eddy) Moylan
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 of winter winds and driving rain.

A2: Some 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 maximise 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 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 are 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 can go into the wrong hives on the first day which can result in imbalance of hive populations.

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

Club merchandise will be at the May Meeting🤞🏻
SGB Club Polo Shirts:
These are the same as the ones ordered last time so if you have seen them on any of our members, that's the one!
The price has gone up to $35 which is understandable as it has been over 2 years since we last ordered any.
Sizes start at Small, although no small have been ordered so far. Medium seems to be the size chosen by smaller women. Large, XLarge and XXLarge.
There will be sizes at meetings to try on before ordering.

SGB Club Hoodies:
These are NEW.  I haven't sighted them yet so I cannot give you a description of the sizes and quality. 
These will be at the April meeting for you to try on and buy with extras in all sizes having been ordered.
The price is $40 
Sizes start at Small, which I suspect will fit the ladies who wear the medium sized polo shirts.  Medium Large and XLarge
There will be sizes at meetings to try on before buying or ordering if we run out of stock.
Syrup/Sugar feeders for bees
Please read this information from Agriculture Victoria before you start to feed your bees. 
Feeding honey bee colonies to prevent starvation.

Please note: Properly ripened syrup should have a moisture content of around 18%. Syrup that is not ripened adequately will ferment and adversely affect bees. Colonies with insufficient stores for winter should be given enough syrup to boost their stores before the cold weather of autumn sets in. This will enable the bees to fully process the syrup.
Frame Feeder  pictured right: Fits between and replaces one full depth Langstroth frame. These retail for around $15 AUD

Here is a comprehensive COMPARISON of several types of feeders. Some comments are specifically for the US.
Top Feeders can be used in Langstroth or Warré Hives pictured right.

Click HERE for an example of a wooden Langstroth top feeder.

Click HERE to see an example of a plastic Langstroth top feeder.
Beekeeping in Antiquity
From Wikipedia

Depictions of humans collecting honey from wild bees date to 10,000 years ago. Beekeeping in pottery vessels began about 9,000 years ago in North Africa. Domestication of bees is shown in Egyptian art from around 4,500 years ago. Simple hives and smoke were used and honey was stored in jars, some of which were found in the tombs of pharaohs such as Tutankhamun. It wasn't until the 18th century that European understanding of the colonies and biology of bees allowed the construction of the moveable comb hive so that honey could be harvested without destroying the entire colony.

At some point humans began to attempt to domesticate wild bees in artificial hives made from hollow logs, wooden boxes, pottery vessels, and woven straw baskets or "skeps". Traces of beeswax are found in pot sherds throughout the Middle East beginning about 7000 BCE.

Honeybees were kept in Egypt from antiquity. On the walls of the sun temple of Nyuserre Ini from the Fifth Dynasty, before 2422 BCE, workers are depicted blowing smoke into hives as they are removing honeycombs.  Inscriptions detailing the production of honey are found on the tomb of Pabasa from the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (c. 650 BCE), depicting pouring honey in jars and cylindrical hives. Sealed pots of honey were found in the grave goods of pharaohs such as Tutankhamun.

In prehistoric Greece (Crete and Mycenae), there existed a system of high-status apiculture, as can be concluded from the finds of hives, smoking pots, honey extractors and other beekeeping paraphernalia in Knossos. Beekeeping was considered a highly valued industry controlled by beekeeping overseers—owners of gold rings depicting apiculture scenes rather than religious ones as they have been reinterpreted recently, contra Sir Arthur Evans.

Archaeological finds relating to beekeeping have been discovered at Rehov, a Bronze and Iron Age archaeological site in the Jordan ValleyIsrael. Thirty intact hives, made of straw and unbaked clay, were discovered by archaeologist Amihai Mazar in the ruins of the city, dating from about 900 BCE. The hives were found in orderly rows, three high, in a manner that could have accommodated around 100 hives, held more than 1 million bees and had a potential annual yield of 500 kilograms of honey and 70 kilograms of beeswax, according to Mazar, and are evidence that an advanced honey industry existed in ancient Israel 3,000 years ago.

Book Review
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde - in our Library now
England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive - one that will give both him and his children honour and fame.
United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper and fights an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.
China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao's young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident - and she is kept in the dark about his whereabouts and condition - she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.
I quite enjoyed this book although some of the characters needed a bit of a slap now and then! Each story is written independently and read in rotation. This is a bit confusing at first but you get the hang of it pretty soon.
I give it 7/10

Peter Gatehouse

Honey, Beekeeping equipment, Wax dipping, Nucleus hives, Wax products

m:0423 244 107
902 Berry's Creek Road, Mirboo North 3871
Stan Glowacki

Beekeeping equipment for sale:  by appointment

Koala Drive Jeeralang Junction 3840

m: 0413 136 878
h: 5122 2641
Rob & Sharon Fisher

Beekeeping equipment - 
Intro to beekeeping workshops - Nucleus hives

m: 0437 501 133 Rob
M: 0418 502 396 Shazz
Dumbalk area
Copyright © 2019 South Gippsland Beekeepers Inc., All rights reserved.

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