Gladstone branch news – May 2023

Gladstone branch news
Water Meter Hives – Whilst we did not receive any re-ports of bees in water meter boxes from councils last round of inspections in Dec 2022 it seems that due to change in staff they were not reported to us. In fact when contacted, recently they actually had five hives reported and initial checks of these hives found three of them still very active. Interestingly three of these hives reported had been reported and rescued previously and the bees had returned so they obviously like those locations. We have now commenced rescuing them before the next inspections in June.

Due to a lot of failures of these hives after rescue in the past, the approach from the last few has been to place them in an observation hive single box and connect them up to an existing strong hive for a short period until they have established sufficient defenses internally before disconnecting and this appears to have been very successful. The connection time has ranged between 7 days and 29 days so far and all hives treated this way have been successfully housed in their new homes.

From our last meeting, we are now in the process of setting up a fostering program for these hives whereby the hives will remain the property of ANBA and will be used for propagation of new hives to be donated back to the community. John and Nanette have commenced preparing hives with branding to identify them easily and the first of these boxes has now been populated with bees from a water meter rescue

Trap Hive – the trap hive reported in previous issue has continued to expand and whilst still in a single box, is 3/4 full and almost ready to expand to the second box but might wait for warmer weather. It is now just 60 days since the empty box was placed to capture the swarm and we are extremely happy with its progress.

Travelers Rest 1770 Camping Area – In an earlier sub-mission I mentioned placing some hives in this camping area for the owners to promote native bees as part of their Bush Tracks program where Michael treats his guests and visitors to a bush tucker tour of his property. The little bee family that started as 1 hive has now grown to 4 and Michael is now making the bees very much a part of his program and planning to include honey tasting for his guests. Already we have set up an observation hive that can be viewed by the visitors. Another friend Monique has already painted two boxes with a natural bushland theme ready for the next generation of bees.
Made time recently to visit Caroline Bosshart with her mother-in-law (my neighbour) May and we decided to split her hive which was donated last year and took out another of my hives for splitting next season. The hive went exceptionally well except for the rather aggressive occupants taking a liking to Caroline’s hair. Seems they have a long memory as it was the same hive we split for Karmen Coverdale last year and a similar result. Incidentally May will be celebrating her 80th Birthday Friday and my wife Shirley (not 80 yet) the following day. We are going to be celebrating with lunch on the weekend.
From Ian Anderson
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