The Coffs Harbour ANBA branch met last Sunday 18th of September. The location for the meeting was a reserve opposite the Coffs Council Chambers on the corner of Castle Street, which is known for its African Tulip trees.
Our guest was Michael Sallustio who owns a local business called The HandyMan Hive. Michael first became aware of the dangers of the African Tulip trees to native bees when his brother had some removed from his property in Queensland.
Michael has mapped the location of these trees in his neighbourhood and made letterbox drops of an information leaflet to educate people who have a tree on their property. He teamed up with an arborist to provide tree removal services, and the Coffs Harbour Nursery to provide a dis-count on a replacement (hopefully native) tree for any customers who removed their African Tulip tree.
It was through his conversations with council that he managed to secure, at least for a short period of time, the free services of wood-chipping for the trees that were being removed. Sadly, this costly service is no longer being provided by council. After council discussed the classification of the African Tulip tree with the NSW Department of Primary Industries they could no longer justify the service given the tree was not classified as an invasive weed.
Through his initiative Michael has been directly involved with the removal of about 10 trees in our area. The word is getting out to the public, as we have seen several trees removed from other locations too.
The council have suggested we apply for grants for the associated costs. Catherine from our branch will explore this option and how we may be able to support Michael in submitting a grant application with the Coffs, Bellingen and Nambucca councils.
We also discussed the varroa mite red and purple zones centred around Nana Glen to our north and how this is impacting on European honey bee and native bee keepers. It is interesting to note that some members were not fully aware of the current situation given the now limited media coverage.
Monica told us about her success of educting TC’s into a failed TH hive structure. She was sold the hive not knowing that the range for TH did not extend to our area and sadly the hive failed. In early February she chose to use the old hive, complete with it’s TH structure to educt from a strong TC hive. Monica has now inspected the eduction and found it has been a complete success. The bees are thriving!
We are looking forward to the workshop with Tim Heard in October and a hive split in November of Monica’s Armidale hive with Ian Driver mentoring via Zoom.
From Elaine Bean, secretary
For more info on branch activities, visit our Facebook page ANBA Coffs Harbour Native Bees, https://www.facebook.com/groups/756068211719759