Rockhampton branch – December 2023

Huge win for Rocky stingless bee keepers
A long-term goal has been to advocate for the deregulation of Australian stingless native bees in the Rockhampton region. After sustained efforts campaigning and educating, led by Chairperson Lloyd Younger, the regional council recently changed the local bylaws to remove all restrictions on native beehive numbers in the area. In his letter to members celebrating this news, Lloyd acknowledged the invaluable support of ANBA Management Committee, local politicians, shire councillors, and of course, branch members and their families and friends. He also provided wise counsel in encouraging beekeepers to manage hives responsibly, ensuring adequate food supplies and consulting with neighbours where appropriate. ANBA Rockhampton Branch will work with the council on a community education/information program in the new year.

Last meeting report
The December meeting covered a broad range of topics. As a branch, we are gradually sourcing branded items for use at future workshops and expos. Several donations of useful equipment were presented – even a new urn! We thank those members for their generosity.

Lloyd is liaising with representatives from the Dreamtime Cultural Centre with a view to displaying an ANBA Rocky branch hive on site.
Paul Rayner has kindly offered to be the branch Communication and Social Media coordinator.
An increase in enquiries for the purchase of hives being directed towards the branch has been noted.
Beekeepers reported recent hive losses and predator sightings, including observations of Hive syrphid flies [wasp mimics] laying eggs at the hive entrance, after which the bees carry them inside, and hive phorid flies entering via the hive entrance.
Murray led some discussion about eductions from his and others’ experience, which varies widely in terms of timeframes, successes and heartaches.

John & Bob shared news that their local Men’s Shed is sourcing timber to make some hives.
As membership grows, diverse interests do also. There is support to collate a folder of local plants, local solitary bee sightings and locations. New member Bob shared some observations of solitary bee-friendly plants [native and non-native] in his local area and in the haven he is creating at home, and used Dr Prendergast’s guide Creating a Haven for Native Bees to identify at least nine different species so far.

After the official meeting ended, attendees were reward-ed with a tasty Christmas spread and garden tours; some lucky folk took home prizes from Lloyd’s lucky door raffle. New member Grahame’s hive was opened and viewed, which allowed for lots of observations and advice. The wonderful hospitality and breezy venue provided by hosts Paul and Joy Ashton was appreciated by all.
We’re excited about plans for 2024 to promote the long-term sustainability of native bees, but for now, we’re taking a break, and will have time to sit and watch our own bees work their magic.

From Marg Barry, Secretary / Treasurer,
or Lloyd [email; mobile 0437727657].
Facebook Page:
Facebook Group (Rockhampton Branch members only)

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