Northern Rivers newsletter October 2015

BEE BIZ                                   October 2015

The Newsletter of the Northern Rivers Amateur Beekeeping Association Inc.
  • President                  Tony Lamont     66631238
  • Vice-president     Geoff Muntelwit                 66886128
  • Secretary               Shirley Ashman    66283687
  • Treasurer       Peter Dickson-Smith    66492009            
  • Equipment Officer Stephen Fowler   66228534
  • Editor  and Library  Brian Window   66242864



The last meeting was at the home of Barbara Lukas and Peter Dickson Smith at Glenreagh.  About 16 went down in the bus, and some club members drove themselves.  Many of the Midnorth Coast members also took the opportunity to get together with their old associates.

Unfortunately, Peter’s health had deteriorated, and he had been taken to hospital.  So it was left to the indomitable Barbara to entertain everyone.  We all hope Peter will be home soon.

The three hives were examined closely.  The first was OK, and was left as is.  The other two were busting at the seams with both honey and bees.  Each had two ideal boxes full of honey removed, and a nucleus made up using queen cells and bees from their brood boxes.  Because Barbara did not have extra supers, the four boxes were extracted on the day and the stickies returned to their hive.

Thank you to all who contributed on the day.

New Equipment

Remember that Stephen and Janet Fowler have good supplies of most new equipment at the best prices you can find.  They will also get gear for you.   

Note that the equipment ute will not go to Currumbin, and there is no meeting in December.  Members wanting equipment should make arrangements with Stephen or Janet.


Robert Stone can provide brands for marking beehive equipment Ph 6683 2222.

Gold Coast Field Day

The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeping Association is holding their annual field day on Sunday 25th October.  Speakers include  Shona Blair, “Therapeutic Benefits of Honey”, Len Arkadieff, “Australian Flora and Honey Bees”, and John Tadman,”Is Everything OLD NEW Again”.

 ( I remember Len giving an excellent talk some years ago, and John Tadman has had an interesting article in the ABK recently on hive ventilation.  Ed.)

Some of the equipment supply firms such as Quality Beekeeping regularly attend.

It starts at 8.30am Qld time.  Transport is by private means.  Venue is Currumbin Community School , 5 Hammerford Drive, Currumbin Waters.

November Meeting

The November meeting is the Xmas party on 29th November, venue to be decided.

Important Upcoming Events

The Lismore Show is on 22-24th October. 

The club will have a stand at the Alstonville Show, on 29th-31st October.  It will be something like we had at Primex.  Volunteers are needed ( Contact Shirley Ashman after 6 pm).

The second Learn Beekeeping Course begins at 8.30 am on 31st October at the home of Brian Window, 54 Donnans Road, Lismore Heights.

Club members are invited to come along and help during the course.


There are more boxes to be sent to Steritech in early November.  A probable date for the working bee is Sunday 8th November.  It is being organised by Brian Window and Stephen Fowler.

Field Day DPI

Quite a few members attended the field day organised by the biosecurity staff of the NSW DPI at the Greenridge Hall near Casino.  There was also a good turnout by the local professionals.

Mick Rankmore, and four of his staff from local regional centres were present.  Mick described their work under the following headings.

  • Pest and disease control
  • Response to exotic pest and disease
  • Nuisance complaints about bees
  • Abandoned and neglected hives.

One important point that Mick made during his presentation concerning their work was that NSW had 16 Regulatory Officers spread around the state, and it is important to use them if the beekeeping community wanted them to be retained.  So, report all those cases of AFB to the DPI.  

Mick at work on sugar shake test; photo Suzie

Mick at work on sugar shake test; photo Suzie

There were samples of brood comb with rampant afb infection available to inspect, and beekeepers were shown how to do inspections on some healthy hives behind the hall.


Some new books have been purchased, and will be placed in the library box as they arrive.  With the end of year coming up, could all members return any library books they have. 

Rainbow gums

 Common in Hawaii, native to Philipines, one of only two eucalypts found out of Australia.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Sunday 1stNovember at the home of Rebecca and Rob Blair Hickman,  98 Whytes Road West, Pimlico near Ballina.  The activities for the day are “Looking at the Improvements to Rob’s Gear and Shed”. 

Rob has made a point of saying children and grandchildren are welcome.

The day will start with morning tea at 10 am for 10.30 am, followed at 11 am by the activity for the day.  Lunch will be around about midday and will cost $5 per head. 

Please bring either a morning tea item or a salad for lunch.Raffle items are appreciated.  Remember your chairs.


From Lismore, proceed along the Bruxner Highway to the large roundabout south of Ballina, where it joins the Pacific Highway.  Take the exit to Grafton .  After about 6 km, turn right into Whytes Lane West. If you reach Wardell, you have gone too far.  Look for the bee signs.