Cairns Branch – November 2022

We have just completed a solid weekend of activities that started on Friday November 11. Tim Heard and Mandy Sapper were inter-viewed on ABC Far North radio on the subject of native bees. Their switchboard lit up with listeners wanting to ask questions and share experiences of native bees in the Cairns region. It was encouraging to see the high interest from locals related to this topic.
Two days later after clocking up a serious amount of kilometres, Tim arrived at the Stratford Library on Sunday 13 November for the Cairns Branch workshop and branch meeting.

We had 35 people attend the workshop that began with Tim’s slide presentation and discussion of native bees. We then moved outside where Jordan Ortt had provided a magnificent Tetragonula hocking-si hive, at least 40 years old. After carefully prising open the hive Tim and Jordan decided that a brood transfer was the best course of action. Tim collected a sizable piece of brood and an appropriate amount of stores that were transferred into a new hive before the old hive was reattached. The Hocks had some firm ideas of their own about these shenanigans, and Tim was forced to wear a hat with a veil in an attempt to protect himself. We left the hives to settle for a while and went back inside for our branch meeting.

The focus of our meeting was to discuss our acquisition of resources and then to break into groups which brainstormed venues we should set up an information booth to educate people about native bees and get their interest up to join our Facebook group and the ANBA. We also talked about businesses we could partner with to raise awareness of native bees. This was most productive.

Our day ended with a native bee honey tasting session. We had quite a few different honeys, supplied by Wendy For-no, Tim Heard and Zac Petersen from the Bee Providore in Cairns. It was amazing to taste the differences of honey from the same species, depending on where the bees had foraged.

All in all, the weekend was hailed as a great success which we owe in no small part to the presence of Tim Heard who we thank most enthusiastically. Naturally Tim has been encouraged to make this a yearly event!

From: Stewart Clarke,
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