The Coffs Harbour Branch met on 20th June at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden where we enjoyed shelter from a windy overcast day in the seated area.
It was great to welcome new faces to the group – many of them com-mercial European beekeepers themselves – and to hear about members’ hives and recent experiences.
James talked about his recent unfortunate experience of unintentionally hosting phorid flies in his composting system due to it not having enough dry materials. He’s had to relocate his hives to another property until he gets the situation under control. The phorid fly is smaller than the native bees and troublesome for them to deal with. Once they enter the hive they lay eggs and the larvae eat their provisions, mainly pollen, and make a mess of the nest. [The Australian Native Bee Book, p.198]
James mentioned the use of his Bug-A-Salt gun as a handy defence against syrphid flies and gave us some interesting background to his hives and mentor, Giorgio Venturieri, who is featured in Tim Heard’s book in the chapter ‘Global diversity and distribution of the highly social bees’.
James reminded us of the Google map posted by Brad as a place to add any known African Tulip trees. It is one way that we can be proactive in gathering information in order to educate the general public about the danger these trees present to native bees, as well as having the data to effect change.
Stephen and Janet shared information about a new hive they have been designing and building as well as a promising new organic product for keeping boxes in their natural condition and minimising rot.
Alison updated the group on the opportunity to become involved with Kit Prendergast’s project ‘Bee hotels to boost bees after bushfires’.
Monica informed the group about a future hive splitting demonstration workshop that is being organised for November on the mid north coast at Little Star Bee Sanctuary.
Our next meeting will be in September (date TBC) when we open Matt’s hive which he has recently acquired. This hive hasn’t been opened in 30 years and has flooded once, yet is still a hive of activity.
From Monica Rich, Representative to ANBA Management Committee, Monicarich00@gmail.com
For more info on branch activities, visit our Facebook page ANBA Coffs Harbour Native Bees, https://www.facebook.com/groups/756068211719759
From Monica Rich