Northern Rivers newsletter - March 2016

BEE BIZ                                       March 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


Last Meeting

The last meeting was at the home of Suzie Deyris, Tallowwood Drive, Byron Bay. There was an excited crowd for the first ever club meeting ( in the editor”s memory) at Byron Bay, and it lived up to expectations.  It was a beautiful day, and the home was set in what could be described as a tropical paradise.  The two hives of bees had their own verandah, and were in excellent condition with loads of honey and bees.  There was obviously quite a good honey flow occurring.  The brood boxes were examined for eggs to see if the queens were laying, but the eggs were very difficult to see under the roof.  However, very small larvae were seen, confirming the presence of a queen in the last few days.  One hive had a nucleus taken off, but it has to make a new queen ( it will have to be monitored with Autumn (What’s that?) approaching.)

Other activities were to show how to wire and wax frames, and when to remove combs from the hive.  The guidelines were

  • For the brood box, to maximise the production of worker bees.
  • For the honey box, to make extraction easier.

After lunch, a club meeting was held.  It was agreed to purchase some market stalls to provide shade at future meetings.

New Equipment

Stephen and Janet Fowler have good supplies of most new equipment at the best prices you can find.  They have some stainless steel extractors from China that you should look at if you need one.  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.

Congratulations to Stephen on winning some prizes for his apiary products in the Sydney Easter Show.

Steritech Trip

The latest load of equipment for irradiation at Steritech was assembled in South Lismore on Sunday 13th March.  There were 5 pallets, from 11 club members.

They have been irradiated and will be returned on March 30th.

Beekeeping Course

A meeting of those connected with the course has been held.  A brochure is attached with the newsletter to give to interested people.

Movie on Bee Crisis

A new movie “The Hour of Decision” by Gunther Hauk will be shown in the hall at Shearwater Steiner School, Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby, on Wednesday, April 6th from 6.30pm.  Entry is by a gold coin donation.

Gunther Hauk is a biodynamic beekeeper who has a bee sanctuary in Virginia, USA.  Gunther also made the film “Queen of the Sun", which some people might have seen.

“The film "The Hour of Decision" shares the deep insight and wisdom of a beekeeper who is devoting his life towards saving the honeybee. This film emphasises the need to change our ways in order to effectively address the honeybee crisis ie. develop the right attitudes and methods for sustainable beekeeping. “

Editor Thanks

Thank you to Douglas Wilson, Geoff Manning, Suzie Deyris, and others for supplying photos for inclusion in past newsletters.

Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting of the club will be held at the club meeting on April 3rd.  All executive positions will be declared vacant, and nominations called for the positions.

Members are encouraged to seek positions, as the involvement of new  people is important for the continued development of the club.  Members wishing to nominate another for a position should seek their approval prior to the meeting.


The library now has a copy of “Bee Friendly” by Mark Leech.  It lists how to grow manygarden plants, giving their pollen values and honey yields.  It is a good companion to the classic by Alan Clemson.  It will be placed in the box with a “ Do Not Borrow” sticker, to allow everyone the opportunity to look at it.

If you want a personal copy of “Bee Friendly”, it is available from RIRDC for $60, and the librarian can order you a copy. 

Colonel Pulling Competition

The ABA newsletter has all the details about the Colonel Pulling Competition.  It is to be held on the 15th May in Mittagong. It consists of four components--the Quiz, Apiary Products, Branch Report, and Photography.

 The club needs entries in light, medium , dark, and creamed honey, a block of wax, and a full frame of honey. Bring your contribution to the next meeting, where Geoff Manning has agreed to select the best for the actual competition.

Next Meeting

The March meeting will be held at the home of Shirley Ashman and Merv McDonald at 536   Wardell Road, Dalwood on Sunday 3rd April.  The activities for the day will be to choose the entries for the Colonel Pulling competition, and to hold the club AGM.  If the weather is fine, there will be an opportunity for beginners to look inside a bee hive.

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. 

After lunch, the club AGM will be held.

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


From Lismore, proceed east along the Bruxner Highway, along Rous Road, and Dalwood Road until you reach the Alstonville to Wardell Road.  Turn left, and the house is a few hundred metres towards Alstonville on the left. Alternatively, you can get there via Alstonville or Wardell.

Look for the bee signs.