Report of July meeting.
Welcome & Acknowledgement:
Chair Dean welcomed members and our presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams. Dean acknowledged the Turrbal and Jagerra people, on whose land we meet. He thanked the members of our branch executive, and everyone who contributes to the setup and running of the event.
Main Business: “Bees, A Personal Perspective” Jerry Coleby-Williams provided us with a personal and
engaging tale, of people, plants, bugs, flowers, food and diversity. Jerry’s tale started with his grandparents and parents in England, and followed his life journey to Australia and where he has lived and worked in WA, Sydney, and Brisbane. In this tapestry of words, we were humbly reminded how diversity works to create a greater whole.
A few of the points I jotted down today:
• 100 square metres of good soil should be enough to feed 1 adult year ’round.
• If you want to grow crops, and rely on pollinators, then you have to provide flowers and food year
’round, so the pollinators get used to your place as a safe and rewarding environment.
• If you stop using pesticides, and have the patience to wait… then eventually the predatory insects come to remove your pests.
• Pigeon Pea is an amazing plant that everyone should grow. It attracts a diversity of native bees including
carpenter bees, blue banded, leaf cutter, and fire tail resin bees.
• Jerry takes photos of bees he sees in his garden. When opportunity arises, he asks an expert for identification; Ken Walker at the Victoria Museum has been particularly helpful). He has counted 27 species of native bee in his Wynnum garden.
• Orange Cosmos is a good stingless bee flower.
• Jerry is a “Guerrilla tree planter”!
The meeting was well attended with 25 people zooming in, plus 55 in person. THANK YOU to our guests and new faces who came today. You were welcome and were a great crowd. There were also excellent questions and comments from the audience.
Tim and Dean attended Valley Bees Open Day on 2 July, crewed an ANBA information table and gave talks. Dean presents a history of native beekeeping in Australia
New Concept – Grass Roots event—A Native Bee Expo?
Dean gauged interest in a new event, A NATIVE BEE EXPO!
We could expand from our current December hive competition event to include honey shows, live outdoor activities like demonstrations of Splits, Eduction, Management, Honey harvests etc. A half day of full spectacle focussing on just native bees. Invite food and coffee trucks, etc. Probably hold in Brisbane on a Sunday in February. Watch for more news.
QLD Garden Expo
Native bees stole the show at the Queensland Garden Expo, 8-10 July, Sunshine Coast. Our dedicated members talked until the bees came home, educated many to the wonders of Aussie bees, met celebrities, enjoyed gorgeous winter weather and had a delightful weekend all round. Many thanks to volunteers: Greg and Jennifer Shea, Ian and Sharon Driver, Lemise Kassim and David Fairbairn, Dean Haley, and David Anderson. Tim Heard and Rachele Wilson gave talks in nearby tents and generated pulse after pulse of visitors.