Winter is now here and the beekeepers’ priorities turn to equipment building and maintenance for Spring, which seems a long way away at this point in time, but from experience, I have found its better to get on to it early rather than leave it to the last minute!
Winter is also a good time for continuing education such as going to a beekeeping conference, which is exactly what myself and some other club members have just done, attending the Beekeeping Clubs inaugural conference in Ballarat on the 2nd June. The organisers (Ballarat Beekeeping Club Inc) by all accounts, did a sterling job and the MC Costa Giordiadis was highly entertaining, but at the same time had a very insightful understanding of the issues facing bees and beekeepers.
All the speakers were of a very high standard. To name a few : Doug Purdie (Author Of “Backyard Beekeeping) gave a fascinating and entertaining presentation on urban beekeeping and his exploits and challenges setting up roof top hives in and around Sydney.
Stuart Anderson (Co-inventor of the Flow Hive) spoke about his and his son’s (Cedar) Flow Hive “journey” from its early inception to the present time.
Prof. Ben Oldroyd (Behavioural Geneticist) gave a fascinating and highly entertaining presentation on “Why Drones Matter”.
Associate Professor Kymble Spriggs (University of Melb) presented on the different severities of Bee Venom allergies and their management and also discussed bee venom therapy. Prof Spriggs was preceded by a father who gave a very heartfelt presentation on recently losing his son to a severe allergic reaction to bee venom after being stung on the legs approximately 15 times while doing a routine procedure on a hive.
A number of representatives, from different clubs, also spoke about the types of activities they do within their clubs and their meeting formats. I found this helpful in planning our own future activities.
It has come to my attention in the past week that one of our members Ray Boys is seriously ill in hospital. I have passed on our thoughts and prayers through Jem Dilek, who I understand is quite close to him. Another member Norm Walker has also been going through an extended period of health issues and we wish him a speedy recovery also and hope to see him back at club meetings in the not too distant future.
Our Suggestion Box is proving very useful with constructive suggestions coming through from members. We had a suggestion to purchase a hive lifting trolley and a stainless steel wax crusher into the club gear. While the hive lifter may not be practical as not all beekeepers have cleats on their hive boxes the crusher is a good suggestion and we will look into purchasing one. Another suggestion was including drinks other than mead in the honey tasting night which is also something we can include. There was also suggestions on meeting formats which we will also consider when planning meetings.
A reminder that nomination forms will be available again at the next club meeting should any member like to nominate themselves or another member for a position on the new committee in July.
The theme for the July AGM IS “International Beekeeping” so its time to put on your thinking caps for the best costume! Prizes will be awarded for 1st,2nd and 3rd. It has come to my attention that Steve Lovie is already seeking expert assistance in costume matters!
Thank you to Rob Fransen and Julian Walker for running the box and frame construction stations at the May meeting. It was pleasing that even if people knew how to do these tasks that it encouraged conversation on alternative ways of doing things. I certainly came away thinking “That’s a great idea !” on a couple of ideas.
Well done also to Graeme Beasley for organizing the Honey and Mead tasting activity. Congratulations to Sam MacCuaig and Rob Armstrong for 1st in the Honey, Peter Galt 2nd and equal 3rd to Amanda Diamond and Daryl Cameron. In the Mead tasting congratulations again to Daryl Cameron for 1st place and Peter Galt for 2nd place.
The June meeting is our annual “Pizza Night” and we are also having Rob Andersen from AU Wax Melters coming to talk about his range of melters. We will also have a 15 litre Wax melter to raffle at our June and July meetings so make sure you don’t miss out on buying some raffle tickets as this is an amazing prize which every beekeeper could use!.
Until next club meeting, Happy Beekeeping!
Peter Gatehouse (President)