Mid North Coast newsletter - June 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

                                                                JUNE 2016

Hi Members

This will be a short newsletter and my apologies that it is also a bit late. I'm also sorry to hear that a few members turned up at Sandy Beach earlier this month, but unfortunately we did not have a venue for June.

Welcome to all newcomers. There are a lot of new people to beekeeping with flow hives, so hopefully soon we'll be able to get up close and personal with one{hive} at a future meeting.

I hope everybody is well and that your hives are going good. There are a few things flowering at the moment, such as paperbacks.

THE COAST.       (an excerpt)

By Faye Karabaic

Down by the sea is the coastal heath.
Warm sky above – warm sand beneath
Bees will work through the Winter’s day
Storing their preciousharvest away.  


                                                     FRANK’S HIVE HINTSNo 17

At this time of the year you may see rows of bee hives close to the beach on the coastal heath,  These areas of low growing bushes on sandy soil are very beneficial to bees.  They are mostly native plants like banksia, bottlebrush and pea flowers.  The sites are dry and sunny.  Hives build up very strongly by Spring and are ready to be moved to a honey flow.

A well drained, dry, sunny site is important, specially in Winter.  A wind break is also helpful.  Hives can be relocatedslowly overa short distance by moving them ½ metre every day.  They can also be turned gradually in a different direction. 

Swamp Mahogany is flowering now and bees love it because of the nectar and pollen.  That is good if the weather is fine but if it is rainy bees will find it difficult to evaporate the nectar, particularly when hives are in a cold, damp, shady position.  This stressful situation can lead to Nosema infection. It is a disease of adult bees and will shorten their lives so weakening the colony and preventing it expanding in Spring.  It can also lead to early supercedure of the queen.  You may see numbers of crawling bees with extended abdomens outside the hive and spotting on the front wall of the box.  The best solution is to keep hives well ventilated and dry.

Some Facts on Nosema


  •  Nosema disease is the most widespread adult bee disease in the world.
  •  Although there are a number of symptoms, these often go unnoticed, and the poor performance of a colony is blamed on other factors.
  •  There are no classic signs of the disease, and hence it frequently goes undetected.
  •  Heavily infected bees live only half as long as non-infected bees.
  •  Nosema disease is most likely present in all colonies all the time, and only likely to cause bee losses when conditions favour the microorganism.


Methods of Control

Management practices

  • Climatic conditions play a major role. Protect colonies from cold, wet winds and locate apiaries on the northern side of a hill. Ensure hives have maximum exposure to sunlight during autumn, winter and early spring.
  • Keep the hive dry – elevate it if possible. In northern New South Wales and Queensland, cane toad stands have been found to reduce nosema levels.
  • In autumn, compact the colony in preparation for winter. Do not leave excess boxes on each hive; reduce the colony to one or two boxes for the winter period.
  • Placing beehives on the cooler tablelands will cause the colony to become broodless. This reduces the stress and demands on the colony, and will assist in keeping nosema levels low.
  • Ensure the hive is headed by a young queen with a strong population – this will greatly reduce any adverse effects from nosema.
  • From early autumn, avoid moving brood combs around a hive or between hives.
  • Avoid moving hives during winter. Multiple shifting of hives and opening of colonies during the winter months have been associated with increased nosema levels.
  • At the end of autumn, leave more than half a box of honey on each hive for winter.
  • Old brood combs are a constant source of disease pathogens. Replace old brood combs with new in late spring and summer, so that old combs do not remain for years in the brood nest.
  • Protein deficiency is probably a major cause of increased nosema levels. Many autumn and early winter flows have protein-deficient pollens, causing low breeding levels and resulting in shorter lived bees prone to nosema infections. Putting bees on flora that provide high-protein pollens, before and directly after working a honey flow with low-protein pollens, will help overcome protein deficiencies.
  • High-protein pollens, available at the end of autumn and over winter, can ensure that bees breed and replace population lost to nosema.

 Extract from the DPI Factsheet – here's the link for the full information sheet:



On 26th June Faye and Frank gave a presentation on Bees and Honey at the Coffs Harbour Community Gardens. There was a lot of interest shown by those attending with a couple inquiring about Flow Hives. ABA cards were handed out and 4 people are potential members.

Steve McCrane of Native Bee fame has a radio programme and invited us to take part some time. This will be handy if we are planning a guest speaker or need other publicity.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held at the home of our President Marcus Lewis at Sandy Beach on Sunday, 10th July.

Address:  10 Blackbutts Avenue, Sandy Beach

Phone No.  6656 2287


Time : 10 am for 10:30 start

Activity : There will be an hive activity

Please Bring Protective Clothing

Please bring chairs

Parking: There is limited parking outside the house. Most parking is available at the top or the bottom of the hill in Blackbutts Ave.

AB-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