The December branch meeting was once again held at Lloyd Younger’s home in Norman Gardens, in a relaxed outdoor setting with shade for the members’ hive display and too much good food on offer, including native honey marshmallows and native honey flavoured tiny Xmas trees. Thanks Lloyd! Seventeen members and three guests had a productive and informative session.
Highlights from the most recent Branch Management Zoom meeting were presented by Lloyd.
There was significant interest and enthusiasm for Les Rigby’s invitation to both display native bee hives and participate in a native honey competition at the June 2023 Rockhampton Agricultural Show. The ANBA laminated posters Lloyd has purchased with be very attractive additions to displays this year. There was some interesting fact sharing about the criteria used and the suitability to judge native honey competitions, with further investigations forthcoming as planning continues.
With membership growing, it was agreed that the Rocky branch members are keen to host another expert workshop in 2023, subject to guest presenter/s and an available venue. Many of these have been held in the past.
The concept of an ANBA borrowing library was also well-supported and this request is in the pipeline. Members are looking forward to accessing these resources.
Barry O’Rourke, State Member for Rockhampton, once again gave an update regarding the keeping of native bees. Discussions on a reasonable number of hives to have on a residential block are on-going.
Murray Smith began the discussion about hive populations and hive health with observations about recent significant hive losses due to phorid fly. Members shared their knowledge of other common local predators as well. Several reasons for atypical patterns, such as in the weather, and even which side of the Fitzroy River one lives on, were discussed. Greg Elder offered to assist with the identification of predators, which members will appreciate very much.
The branch is collating a list of interested members who wish to be on a publicly-posted list shared when members of the public request this information, often via social media – e.g., rescues [water meter, concrete wall, fallen tree], hive sales, hive and bee sales. This will make it easier to respond or assist at short notice.
To close the meeting, Dave Goodsall [on behalf of members] thanked Lloyd, as the meeting’s host, for once again welcoming members and guests to his home and garden.
Once meeting formalities were concluded, members enjoyed a display of hive designs. This was a great opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of various forms, as well as have all your questions answered by an expert. Lloyd’s labelled display of common predators, and his models of easy-to-make traps with tried and tested recipes, made for some great follow-on discussion and sharing of experience.
Marg Barry, Secretary / Treasurer, firstname.lastname@example.org