Gladstone branch – November 2023

Our November event was a honey extraction from a T. hockingsi hive by one of our members Lyall Pohle at his home in Gladstone suburbia. It went well.
Lyall has 20 or so hives, all hockingsi with honey supers. He’s been doing native bees for about 8 years & has a good understanding, especially of hockingsi.
He inspected the 50mm supers late spring to see how to see how much honey they contained and to extract if full. With the narrower 50mm su-pers he has no ingress of pollen, this makes cleaning much easier.
He has a fine stainless mesh strainer as a first stage that accommodates a standard OATH type super to drain through, then a sieve & final filters through fine muslin for a very clean product.
Today’s 750gm of honey, the group said was a very agreeable taste, lightish colour too. To compare with we also had hockingsi from previous Lyall’s extractions as well as true “sugarbag” from a remote bush rescue of T. hockingsi and A. cassiae from member Doug, both well out of suburbia. Each produced 2 litres of honey and the group thought this not as strong as some of the others. The cassiae had some coming back for more, lovely drop of light coloured “honey”.
We had a good attendance of 16 or so with 3 or 4 new people and a few have joined ANBA, welcome. Most are at the early stage of the native bee journey with new hives or eductions on logs.
We rounded off with a coffee & wonderful array of food, thanks members for bringing and Daph, Lyall’s wife who kept the jug bubbling. Thanks Daph you have a full time job. On a lovely fine day, we had a discussion about bee vacuums and a few are keen to have a go. We’ll have some trial runs at our next get together in the new year at Ross’s place at Tannum Sands.
There was good member input with comment on “their way” of building hive boxes and handling them generally.
Next weekend in line with pollination week there are a few events at the Botanical gardens. Hope the weather is as good as today’s event, it will be a good opportunity for the community to know more about native bees.
From Doug Stephen and Madonna Richter
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