Five-year anniversary of Brisbane native bee club / branch

Planning meeting in June 2016 to decide the details of name, meetings, Newsletter, website, Facebook page. The meeting was facilitated by Tim Heard and attended by Claudia Rasche, Alan Piper, Ingrid Dimock, Daniel Klaer, Matt Keir, Tony Goodrich, Sarah Hamilton, Tobias Smith, Dean Haley, apologies Glenbo Craig.

The Brisbane Native beekeepers club held its first public meeting on the first Sunday in July 2016 and has not paused since, except for a break each January.

The club eventually spawned the ANBA and became its first branch. The desire to legally incorporate was a prime motive to become an association. The decision to go national was made because of the obvious strong interest from all over Australia in native bees.

To kick off, Sarah Hamilton built a simple website which captured a list of emails to send out notices. That was superseded when the ANBA website was built.

We started meeting at the rustic, but well-equipped THECA hut at Chapel Hill. Only in 2021 did we outgrow THECA and move the larger Bulimba Community Centre.

Tim Heard facilitated the first three years, then in 2019 he was elected president of the ANBA and Dean Haley took over the role of chair of the Brisbane branch. In mid-2017 Kara Froggatt initiated a Newsletter, which she did for 3 years until The ANBA formed and kicked off a publication with a broader focus, The Cross-Pollinator.

The meetings have maintained the format of a speaker presenting a topic followed by plenty of time to cover oth-er business and a nice cup of tea. We have had a smattering of interstate and even overseas speakers. We have had indigenous dance and didj playing. We have held roundtable events allowing everyone to tell their journey. Although most of events, have been indoor presentations, we have had the occasional field trip. And of course, our world-famous hive exhibition remains a favourite. We have been fortunate with an extraordinarily rich line-up of speakers who have given up their Sunday afternoon, often travelling from a distance, see the full list below.

From April 2020, we until Nov 2020, we were limited to online events because of a certain little virus that turned the world upside down. We all certainly upgraded our tech skills from this experience and now we can offer both Room and Zoom meetings, which reach a wider audience.

The philosophy of the ANBA has its roots in the Brisbane branch. We are proud that we have built a strong community of members who support each other, pitch in and help run meetings, mentor newbees, contribute to the pool of knowledge, bake brownies, donate prizes and build hive exhibits. Looking forward to the next five years.

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