Coffs Harbour branch – May 2023

Coffs Harbour branch
Branch meeting
The Coffs Harbour branch met on Sunday the 21st of May at the Coffs Harbour Regional Botanic Gardens.
There were many new people who attended, and some familiar faces too, with varying degrees of experience in native bee keeping. This gave lots of opportunity for discussion and sharing of experiences.

Newcomers Gabriele and Michael told us about a time they rescued a hive in a tree being removed by the council on their nature strip. They showed us a very large piece of propolis structure that had been recovered from the hive.
Next we checked on the native bee hive that our branch had placed in the Botanic Gardens in October 2022. The hive was quite active despite the cooler than usual temperatures we have been experiencing recently. Thanks to Toby who gave a great demonstration of how to deal with ants nesting in the roof space. We weighed the hive (a healthy 7kg) and then inspected it through the viewing panel. The hive was reasonably full and we decided to remove the tape and give them access to the super.

We then took a walk through the gardens to view several naturally occurring hives in logs. One of these is lying on the ground and we will contact the Maintenance Co-ordinator to discuss how we may be able to assist in improving this situation to increase the longevity of the hive. Toby gave us some tips on how to spot native bees in the bush.

World Bee Day
World Bee Day celebration events were hosted by Bunnings on Saturday 20 May. Bunnings invited both clubs of local beekeepers from the Mid North Coast Amateur Beekeeping Club and the Coffs Harbour Branch of the Australian Native Bee Association to set up an informative display and engage with the public around actions that the general public can take to promote bee health and encourage pollinators in their backyards. Monica, Elaine and Alison were keen to discuss all things bee with enthusiastic members of the public.
Also of interest was a beautiful poster showcasing some of the native bees of NSW. People are often surprised to see how many there are that can be spotted in their own gardens. It was lovey to engage with lots of youngsters who were well informed about all kinds of bees and had been learning about bees in their educational settings.

Members of the public were also keen to share their experiences which ranged from precious memories of bee-hives in their childhood gardens through to questions around splitting their native beehives for the first time. Many were also aware of the current varroa incursion and measures in place to eradicate the mite and had questions and concerns that they were keen to chat about. The best place to be updated on these matters is always the Department of Primary Industry’s website.

Club members were also questioned by several keen prospective beginner bee-keepers who had questions about getting started in beekeeping. We look forward to welcoming them at future club meetings and events.

Many thanks to Bunnings for the invitation and the wonderful activities that they ran for the youngsters which included making native bee hotels and bee tattoos. It was great to see Bunnings staff members in bee costumes to assist in promoting the event.

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