Coffs Harbour March 2024

The Coffs Harbour branch meeting on Sunday the 18th of February took place at the Woolgoolga Regional Community Gardens where we were welcomed by member Tony Reed.

Tony gave us a tour of the beautifully kept and productive gardens which are home to native bees and honey bees. The community gardens were established just over 10 years ago and feature 38 rental bed as well as 11 community beds where veggies are grown by members and also for selling them to the community. Visitors are welcomed by a tree of life mosaic when entering the gardens.

We learnt about the day to day running of the gardens which includes the pickup of food waste in town for the compost. The garden features an orchard with different fruit trees, most of them 4 years of age. There is a small stall in the gardens where the community can buy produce and preservatives. A small nursery on site also provides space for seedlings that are for sale.

The first Tetragonula carbonaria hive we looked at has been performing well for the past two years with brood filling the hive right to the top.

The other T. carbonaria hive has been undergoing eduction into a hollowed log since October as it cannot be split.

This particular hive is a very productive hive since it is the third eduction, and honey had been taken out about
a year ago. We were able to take a look inside the log and could see that the bees are doing well. There had been a split in the log at some point but the bees had sealed off the gap. We could also see that blue banded bees had taken up residence in clay bricks placed next to the native hives.

Lastly, member Luke Andrews showed us one of the hive boxes he constructs from 37-40 mm thick cypress offcuts, and asked for our input on the design.

Over afternoon tea we discussed plans for the Coffs Harbour Show on the 27th & 28th of April with members offering materials for showcasing.

From Lena Alice Schmidt
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