Northern Rivers newsletter - February 2016

BEE BIZ                                     February 2016

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 Paula and Peter Slaney at Smiths Creek, Kyogle.  A large crowd of members turned out to enjoy the weather and the environment, as well as the company and the activity.

The activity was to look through some hives that Geoff Muntelwit had moved on to the property for the day.  Unfortunately for Geoff, one of the hives showed the visible signs of AFB, and tested positive.

Later, Geoff Manning gave a talk with some plain facts about hive beetles, in particular how they overcome a hive.  Stephen Fowler modelled ( very fetchingly) a blue mesh Jacket and bee veil available for $60 from Edmonds Honey in Victoria (  It looked like it could be cooler than most other veils.

Thank you to Paula and Peter for hosting the day, and to Geoff Muntelwit for providing the hives.

New Equipment

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.  Members wanting equipment should make arrangements with Stephen or Janet.

We have members looking for hives and nuclei.  Could you let Stephen know if you will be willing to supply any colonies.

Editor Vacancy

The editor is not standing for re-election at the AGM next month, and there is an opportunity for anyone interested in the position to nominate.  The present editor will explain what needs to be done, and will provide some training if required.

To give members some idea of what other large bee clubs produce as their monthly newsletter, two recent newsletters from the Gold Coast and the Bayside clubs are attached to the email newsletters (also available in the library).  You will see that they are first rate, and that they include contributions from various club members, as well as office bearers. This should happen in our club. 

The editor thanks those members who have suggested over the years various news items as worthy of inclusion.

Steritech Trip

Some members have indicated that they have boxes to be irradiated, and it is probable that a consignment will be organised soon.  So let Stephen or Brian know how many boxes you have.

Bruce White Interview

“If you want to hear a 49 minute conversation on the ABC radio that will keep you spellbound, just google " abc radio conversations with Richard Fidler - Bruce White's 63 years of beekeeping”. 

The guy that is being interviewed was an apiary inspector with the NSW dept. of  Agriculture and he also talks about his rescue from the Granville train crash in 1977.

All  beekeepers will find it very interesting.

He kept bees in his bedroom as a lad and he found out ( and I didn't really  think about it) that bees would hum all night ripening honey and would  knock off the noise when the process was finished , be it midnight or 5 a.m.”

 From Peter Salomon, Southern Beekeepers.

Flowering at Present

Melaleuca quinquinervia or common paperbark has excellent pollen and honey; it has a number of sequential flowerings during Autumn (now?).  Hives working the flow have a very characteristic strong smell when ripening the nectar ( my nose says the smell has a sour component—ed.) 

The white one is common along our coast, and the red one can be bought from nurseries.

Also, it is one of the best sources of smoker fuel, as long as the paperbark is dried out for a long period in the shed and kept dry.





Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Sunday 28th February 2016 at the home of Suzie Deyris, 3 Tallowwood Drive, Byron Bay.

The activities of the day will be “Routine Examination of Hives”, a discussion of when to discard frames, and a demonstration of how to wire up and wax frames. 

Bring your bee gear.

The day will start with morning tea at 10 for 10.30am, with plenty of time for socialising.  Then, we will have the activities. Lunch will follow at around 12 midday(cost$5). This will be followed by a club business meeting.

Please bring either a morning tea item or a salad for lunch.

Visitors are always welcome.                      

Remember to bring your chairs.


 From Lismore, go through Bangalow on the back road to Byron Bay down Hayters Hill toward the Red Devils Football Field.  At the T junction with Broken Head Road, turn left towards Byron Bay, go  past the High School, and turn immediately right into Ironbark Road, and then left into Mahogony Drive. Tallowwood Crescent is on your right, and 3 is the second house on the left.  Park considerately.   

Look for the bee signs.

Suzie says “ If you feel like a swim, 100 metres down the road there is a five minute track to the beach and a tea tree lake.”