Gladstone Branch – March 2023

It must be that time of the year and the favourable conditions because I have had quite a few enquiries from members of the public wanting some advice on native bees swarming in their properties. One such report that was briefly mentioned in last month’s edition was from a unit complex in Gladstone where they had bees swarming near the entrance steps to two of their units. After some discussion with the staff about the value of native bees I have been able to connect eduction boxes to both hives and they both appear to be performing very well. Because they are in a very public area, Tim Heard has provided me with an information poster which now accompanies the hives to inform the residents and staff of their value. A copy of Tim’s Bible has also been loaned to the complex so that staff can get some professional information about them.

Another call came from a local Gladstone Kindy about their two hives swarming. Seems their two hives had been connected up as an eduction over two years ago and had not been touched since and only one appeared from the outside to be active. Inspection however once disconnected revealed the bees were in fact going into the second box but only using it for stores and no brood. The active hive has now been split with brood being transferred to the non-active one and both hives are now very active. This was yet another perfect opportunity to educate the young ones and the staff about the importance of native bees.

Another interesting call to another school from one of our members about bees swarming outside the library. Seems this was the beginning of a new colony being established in a small water control pit in the concrete path. We initially closed off the entrance to the pit and placed a trap hive nearby, however they did not seem to be very interested so the next day we placed a small amount of brood in the trap hive and it is very early days but they now seem to bee more interested. Watch this space.

One of our very crafty and skillful members has been playing with the idea of an observation hive with a difference for some time and has come up with what looks like a fantastic hive and I can’t wait to see it on display with bees in it.

Projects coming up for our branch
Our Chairman Mark has been off on a cruise to the Antarctic and South America for the past few weeks and as soon as he is back and thawed out, we will be sitting down to discuss some important issues and map out our schedule for the next year so that eve-ryone has an opportunity to plan ahead.
Ian Anderson
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