Gladstone March 2024

Despite the sultry weather conditions we have been experiencing, it seems they have been very good for the bees with most members reporting increased activity with their hives which is great news for the ongoing sustainability of our bees.

We had our first get together for 2024 at the residence of member Ross Gane, it was great opportunity for members and interested members to come along and chat socially about their experiences over the Christmas / New Year break.

I personally have been following up on a number of donated hives with their new owners, first to see how they are performing and secondly to see if they are suitable for propagating to increase their numbers. I am happy to say all those inspected so far are very healthy and several have already been split with the new owners very happy. I believe this follow-up is vitally important for education and the ongoing sustainability of the bees.

As interest in ANBA grows, many community members are contacting us for support or information to help them with their own bee journey. One such couple from Tannum Sands, Jill and Dave, called me recently for advice on how they might progress with a hive they were given over three years ago and were hoping they might be able to split it. On inspection I found what was a very healthy 2 stage vertical split hive and unfortunately was not a standard OATH Box. After some discussion we decided our best option would be to do an eduction, so they purchased a new OATH hive which has now been connected up to the mother hive with a viewing panel for them to now observe how it develops and learn. Jill has already noticed a lot of activity and the propolis placed on the entrance was harvested completely within 2 days. We are looking forward to its development over the coming weeks.

Speaking of eductions, I recently decided to inspect one I had recently connected to the base of an old tree which
was starting to decay. To my surprise when I opened it, I discovered it to contain quite a large brood and a queen
after being connected for just 39 days. This is certainly a\ record for me and it has now been disconnected from
the mother hive just one week later now 45 days with the single box half full.

I have also just recently disconnected another eduction from the mother log after just 59 days with a very heathy brood already formed. I must admit I did cheat a little with this one by giving it a head start by placing a very small amount of brood in the empty box from another hive before connecting it. Interestingly this is the third eduction off this same log in less than 4 years and is still going strong.

Water Meter Rescues and Fostering Program

We now have four foster hives under various stages of development, two of which have been placed out in the community, one at the Calliope Community Garden and the other at Toolooa State School. The other two are being hosted by branch members Karmen and Doug S until they are ready to be placed. We also have the Toolooa School’s own empty box connected up to a host hive and at this stage contains stores only. Once established, this box will go back to the school to replace the foster hive.

A lot of effort has been placed on this program to get it up and running and is a fantastic way of supporting the preservation and sustainability of native while at the same time educating the community about the benefits of pollination. Unfortunately, John who was one of the members along with others instrumental in developing this program has recently resigned, but some of our members are now taking up where John left off.

We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Gladstone Regional Council as we move towards the next
round of water meter inspections. Thank you to Karmen for these photos.

Ian Anderson
For more info on branch activities, visit our Facebook page ANBA Gladstone Branch

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