Little to report this month as yours truly has been on Cape York pursuing my marine debris clean-up activities with Tangaroa Blue Foundation and just returned home.
Water meter hive rescues: As mentioned in previous issues of the newsletter our branch have a hive rescue program with Gladstone Regional when they identify hives as part of their 6 monthly water meter readings. GRC have just completed their mid-year meter readings and have identified 6 hives in need of relocation. Since they have been successful in getting readings from all six, we have decided to give them a chance of strengthening particularly with the cold weather we are currently experiencing and therefore a better chance of survival. We will contact the respective residents and inspect the hives shortly, before deciding when to conduct the rescues. This process is intended to be a learning exercise for our members by gaining further experience in bee handling.
I have been reading the very timely article by Zac Narker in last month’s newsletter with interest and his tips for rescuing bees from water meter boxes, they will come in very handy and we would appreciate any further tips.
On my recent visit to Cape York with Tangaroa with a group of volunteers from Cairns I had two particular volunteers from Gladstone (Wayne & Belinda Piper). It was not until I picked them up in Cairns that we realised we had a common interest in native bees. I had previously met the when they volunteered for another of my cleanups at Barney Point a month earlier but the subject of native bees never came up. The couple operate a wildlife spotting company and as such have managed to rescue numerous native bee hives from otherwise destruction. They currently have somewhere in the vicinity of 150 hives on their property and Wayne constructs his own boxes from recovered hardwood which he mills himself. Needless to say, there was a lot of discussion about bees throughout the entire trip and he shared some amazing photos.
Interestingly Wayne has never done a hard split, all his splits are done by eduction and Wayne has invited me out to inspect his property. I see this an opportunity also for our group to perhaps visit in the future to learn from his experience.
Belinda did locate a hive in our camp area at Cullen Point during the trip, just to prove she is better at spotting than Wayne.
From Ian Anderson, ANBA Gladstone Branch, https://www.facebook.com/groups/480678232538075