Coffs Harbour branch – December 2023

Report of branch meeting November 2023
The Coffs Harbour branch meeting on Sunday 19th November was hosted by member Judith Webster, at her workplace, Coffs Beekeeping Supplies, Woolgoolga.

There were new people who attended, and some familiar faces, too. The new representative of the Coffs Harbour branch, Elaine Bean, and the new secretary/representative, Lena Alice Schmidt, introduced them-selves, followed by a short introduction by each member present. Elaine provided an update on the native bee hive that will be hosted by the Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary as part of the Coffs Harbour branches ‘Host a hive’ program. Dee brought along cards with native bee prints that she makes, with several members purchasing cards ahead of the holiday season.

Judith had set up several different native bee hive designs and equipment for us to inspect, giving a helpful presentation of the advantages and disadvantages of individual designs. Judith’s business provides a wide range of equipment for both native bee and European honey bee keeping and she looks after European honey bees as well as native bees on site.

We were lucky enough to get a glimpse inside an Austroplebeia australis hive and a Tetragonula carbonaria hive. In the AA hive, we spotted the queen, and as the TC hive has recently had a second box placed on top, we could see the new structures the bees have been building while filling the box fast.

We then explored the floral resources in the neighbour-ing paperbark forest. We were fortunate to have Dee, an experienced botanist, with us, who pointed out native plant species in the surrounding bushland (i.e. Pultanea, Hibbertia, Native Asparagus, Blackbutt, …).
Following, Judith provided afternoon tea and members were treated to a delicacy of goat’s cheese topped with rose petals and honeycomb. While enjoying the treats, we had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for activities that members are interested in over the next year. These included: propolis workshop, bee-friendly weeding, native bee domestication talk, native bee honey, solitary bees, native bee hotel workshop, native bee workshop with Dr Tobias Smith, Coffs Harbour Show, World Bee Day, hives for schools, mission statement.

Congratulations to Ken who won the lucky door prize which was a hive tool that Judith had kindly donated.
We will be taking a break over the Christmas period and are sending wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
We will be back with our next meeting held on Sunday 21st January. For more info on branch activities, visit our Facebook page ANBA Coffs Harbour Native Bees, https://www.facebook.com/groups/756068211719759.
From Lena Alice Schmidt

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