Mid North Coast Newsletter - April 2016

THE BEE LINE           

Newsletter of the Mid North Coast Amateur Beekeeping Association                                             

President :  Marcus Lewisph 6656 2287                                  Secretary : Peter Dickson-Smith

Treasurer:  Mal Banks                                                                    Ph :   02 6649 2009

Ph:  026649 0990 , email-  mjbanks1@bigpond.com        Public Officer : Marcus Lewis

Newsletter :  Mal Banks                                                                Ph : 02 6569 5561

Vice Presidents :  Allan Thomas, Paul Campbell                      Librarian: Fay Karabaic

Keith Harris

April  2016

Last Meeting

The last meeting was held on Sunday, 10th April at Zofia’s home at Darkwood.

The drive from Thora up the Bellinger valley to Darkwood was beautiful and adventurous with no fewer than 7 bridges to cross.

The road was in good condition and there were approx. 30 present, including new members Christiaan and Rod with wife Christine. Welcome to the club.

After greetings and tea we headed down to Zofia’s lone hive. At first it was thought that it might be queenless, but fresh eggs were found and the hive’s condition was fair. Glen had placed a queen in the hive, in the weeks prior to the meeting, but she could not be sighted despite a keen search.

Thanks again to Glenn for conducting the hive inspection

It is probably wise for a beginner to start with a single hive, but that hive may fail and then you are left with no hive at all. This is what happened to Zofia’s neighbour, who was very helpful on the day.  

After a very nice lunch with delicious cooked, not BBQ’d , Bellingen sausages and some chicken, the raffle was drawn, and prizes were distributed.

The club’s tablet computer had a selection of photos and members were asked to select the best three for entry into the Photographic section of the Colonel Pulling Competition.

The chosen three will be emailed in for judging before 1st May.

Marcus called the meeting to order and the host was thanked and appreciation was given of the beautiful location with a large Brazilian Chorisia tree in flower adjacent and a fast running river.

The minutes of the last meeting were taken as read and apologies were given, before the treasurer summarised his report.

The general business discussion centred around the upcoming Col Pulling and ABA AGM in May.

Faye and Frank, and Marcus and Julie are attending and hopefully returning with the shield. Frank and Faye have been expanding their already vast knowledge of bees and beekeeping.

Discussions were had on our Branch report to be prepared by Mal, Peter and Marcus.

In other business it was also decided to beef up the raffle by the purchase, from club funds, of beekeeping equipment.

Items we could raffle could be Apithor traps, decapping knives, frames, hive boxes, Queen excluders, comb forks etc.


Winter preparation.

Hives on the North Coast usually survive very well over Winter but need some preparation.  Weather and food sources can be unpredictable.  There are a few points to consider.

1)  Check brood combs for signs of disease. Learn to recognise AFB and EFB.  If unsure, ask for help.

2) Unite a weak, but healthy colony with a strong one.  Kill the queen in the weak hive and place the frames, in a super, on top of the strong one with a sheet of newspaper between.

3) Keep colonies compact in single or double boxes depending on population.  Combs should be covered in bees.

4) Leave stores for bees.  At least 3-4 combs of honey on the coast, more inland.

5) Remove surplus honey combs and extract them.  Given back to bees, in a super, they will be licked clean in 24 hours then can be removed.

6) Remove supers of empty combs.

7) Store combs over Winter:

    a) Stack supers together in a dry place outdoors.  Make airtight and use fumigant Phostoxin (“Pestex”) to kill wax moths.


     b) Refrigerate combs for 24 hours then store in moth proof container.

                   LOVE THOSE BEES.

Upcoming Events

May8th – MNC meeting at 2601 Orara Way, Kremnos(near Glenreagh)

May 15th – ABA NSW – AGM and Col. Pulling Competition – Mittagong.

June 12th – MNC meeting – Location needed at this stage.

Small Hive Beetle

There are a couple of new developments in the search for solving the SHB problem which can devastate a hive. In Australia the Honey Bee and Pollination Research and Development Program is carrying out field trials on a trap that is placed outside the hive that lures the SHB into it. A little like a fruit fly trap. These traps will have a greater attraction for the beetles that the hive. See the April issue of ABK

Chasing, cornering and holding at bay the beetles consumes a lot of production time of the bees in the hive, so it makes sense to deter them from entering the hive in the first place.

Another fairly recent development from America is the Beetle Baffle. This is a barrier system that attaches to your current hive body. They are easy to install and almost completely prevent entry into the hive for the beetles. Aluminium strips are stapled on top of the bottom board of the hive. This creates a barrier and the beetles can’t get into the hive, without stopping the in and out movement of the bees. The ‘Beetle Baffle’(TM) is patented.


Chinese Honey Chicken


1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1” chunks)
Oil (for deep frying)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg white
1 ½ tablespoons oil
2 teaspoon ginger (minced)
3 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
Sesame seeds (for garnish


Step 1: In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to site for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat.
Step 2: Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry chicken bits in patches for 2 minutes or until batter becomes firm. Drain on paper towels.
Step 3: To make the sauce. Heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in your wok. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add salt, honey, vinegar, and water. Mix well. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and Simmer for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Coat chicken with the sauce and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with white rice.
(Makes 4 servings)

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the MNCABA will be held at the home of Malcolm and Katrina Banks, on Sunday, 8th May2016

Address:  “Anabriar” 2601 Orara Way Kremnos

(3.6 kms north of Glenreagh on the left)

-          LOOK FOR THE BEE SIGNS   -

Time : 10 am for 10:30 start

Activity : There will be an hive activity

Please Bring Protective Clothing

A B-B-Q lunch will be at 12:30.

Please bring something for lunch, morning tea and the raffles.

Cost $5.00

At 1:30 pm a meeting will be held to discuss club business.

Enquiries :

Contact – Mal Banks-  6649 0990


Peter Dickson-Smith – 6649 2009