Cairns Branch – April 2023

Last month we held a joint information booth with the Cassowary Coast branch at the Innisfail Festival of the Senses. It was a really successful day with a steady stream of visitors eager to chat and learn more about native bees. A highlight was definitely the vertical hive
stocked with Sapiens that people could view. The hive was blocked with mesh so they could be viewed but not escape to forage. The items supplied by the ANBA , the gazebo and tablecloth with ANBA signage were great and our library was well browsed.

A couple of months back there was a request on Facebook from Steve Madeley collecting stingless bees for research at The University of Sydney. The Uni is testing to see if there are any new varieties of stingless bees out there. He will send off samples from our boxes, but we
are usually pretty sure about what we have got in those hives. He is really looking for wild bees, in houses or trees etc. He comes up about 3 times a year, and I would encourage everyone to consider having him come and collect some bees. Results take a few months to come back. We’ll let everyone know when he is next up this way.

Cairns Council Sustainability Grant.
The Half Moon Bay Golf Club in Cairns has agreed to partner our association in a submission for funds as part of the Cairns Council Sustainability Grant. It will be lodged in early June. The submission is for a working native bee hive and a park bench with appropriate signage to be placed in a public area on the course to raise awareness and help educate the public regarding native bees.

Cairns Branch bee audit
Only 10 members have participated in the survey. Results were interesting but too few to publish anything meaningful. It would help to know what species of bees are around us, particularly if we wish to purchase bees and want to be sure they will have the same species to be able to mate with down the track. I would encourage members to consider filling out the survey. It is private and no personal information would be published…just general type information….e.g. These are the suburbs in which members have Carb hives … and so on.

Future events for our Branch
Our next branch meeting will be held on 30th April at the home of Trevor and Annette Allwood on the Atherton Tablelands. We believe it’s important to be an inclusive group and recognise that some members have a long drive for every meeting which is why we try to move the venues around. Being up on the tablelands gives us an opportunity to see our native bees in a very different environment to what we used to on the coast. Wendy Forno will be speaking at our meeting on the methods, including the pros and cons, of splitting versus brood lifts of hives. Wendy is an entomologist and has a lot of experience over the years working with native bees. She worked with Tim Heard at the CSIRO for a number of years, and is a wealth of knowledge. This is a discussion members won’t want to miss. This meeting will conclude with Trevor and Annette taking us on a tour on their hives, followed by morning tea.

Cairns branch of the ANBA has been invited to have a stall at the EcoFiesta on June 4, at the Munro Martin Parklands in the Cairns CBD. It is billed as Queensland’s premier sustainability festival. We are hoping to have members volunteer to man the stall at some time during the day. We will have our resources on show, plus a live hive (entrance closed but viewing panel clear). Please let us know if you can spend some time at the stall!

We will hold our AGM (Annual general meeting) in July or August. The main agenda item at that meeting will be the election of officers for the Cairns Branch of the ANBA. You must be a financial member of the ANBA to stand for a position, and to vote for someone. All positions are open. I encourage all members to consider standing for a position as Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, or a member of the Committee. All positions can be rewarding, and you’ll get more out of the position depending on the amount of effort and enthusiasm you bring to the role. Soon, we’ll put out an information sheet outlining what the roles entail, but feel free to speak to an executive member of the branch anytime for advice.

From: Stewart Clarke, Chair and
Representative to ANBA
Cairns Native Bee Association Facebook group,

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