Romsey open air hive


Members of the Woodend Bee-Friendly Society spotted the open-air hive in Romsey two months ago.  The group’s attempt to protect the hive by building a make shift shelter, tagged the “Armish Hood”, with plans to relocate the bees in Spring.
The Group Leader, Emma Collins, says the bees have become noticeably weaker in the colder weather.

Emma, interview with ABC Radio

A change to our Group Leader

After four amazing years as group leader, David Gormley-O’Brien has stepped down to pursue a new venture with Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group.

We would like to thank David for all the time and effort he has contributed, he has been an amazing source of inspiration and motivation for many. We all hope your next venture will bring you as much happiness as you have given this group.

And for the new group leader, Emma Collins, although sliding into some big shoes, your enthusiasm and practical experience i’m sure will have you stomping around in no time. Great luck.

WBFS meeting Sunday 19th August – bees wax

At the WBFS meeting Sunday 19th August we will be discussing bees wax.

We’ve all known about the amazing benefits of HONEY for a long time but did you know that Bees wax was just as remarkable and has many more uses than you would have thought.

At the WBFS meeting Sunday 19th August, Samantha Rixon and Jim Sansom will be presenting uses of this truly wonderful substance, Bees wax, for both in and outside of your home.



WBFS Meeting on Sunday 15th July. Topic: Native Bees

blue banded

At the WBFS meeting this month Sally Scopel is going to focus on the exciting world of native bees and draw our attention to the hundreds of different species of native bees that could be in our gardens in the Macedon Ranges and neighbouring regions. In this session, Sally will give hints on how to distinguish between flies and wasps; what we can do to encourage native bees to flourish in our gardens; ideas for bee hotels, hints and tips; and an indication of the citizen projects out there where we can record our sightings.

The session promises to be fun with pop quizzes with prizes. All are welcome. Please bring $5 and a small plate to share.

When: 3-4.30pm Sunday 15th July

Where: Woodend Neighbourhood House, 47 Forest St, Woodend


Introduction to natural beekeeping course with Woz

This weekend (2nd – 3rd June) seven new and aspiring beekeepers from the Woodend Bee-Friendly Society had the privilege of learning from  Warwick Bone the principles and method of beekeeping that seek to make paramount the physiology of honeybees and their natural needs. Participants here are not only learning lots of important information that will equip them to keep bees in the future but also enjoying Woz’s humour and entertaining style of teaching.

Introduction to natural beekeeping course 2-3 June

Registrations are now open for the two-day course on introduction to natural beekeeping by Permaculturist, Warwick Bone, at the Woodend Neighbourhood House, 9am – 5pm, on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd of June.

This course is designed for beginners to provide participants with the information they need to start natural beekeeping with confidence. Natural Beekeeping regards the well being of the bees as no less important than the honey yield. It is simple, low cost and low effort and in tune with nature – perfectly suited for small scale backyard beekeeping and commercial beekeeping alike.

The course will cover both the theory and practical side of keeping bees and is designed to help beginners keep bees naturally with confidence. Learn about the bees themselves, how to work with them and best provide for their needs. Discover the three most popular hive types, Langstroth, Warre and Kenyan. Be exposed to beekeeping boxes, equipment and tools, and see a demonstration of typical hive manipulations and, of course, taste some honey!

Please bring along a plate to share for lunch, a notebook and pen, and wear weather appropriate clothing.


$140 for members of Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group;

$160 for non-members.

Contact David Gormley-O’Brien on to register your interest.


WBFS Meeting 20th May, 3-4.30pm, Woodend Neighbourhood House: Update on the status of Varroa and The Asian Honey Bee in Australia from a Biosecurity Perspective

Topic: Update on the status of Varroa and The Asian Honey Bee in Australia from a Biosecurity Perspective 
Speaker: Ron Glanville
Ron has worked for more than 40 years in the field of Biosecurity, in policy, scientific and operational areas. This has primarily been in the area of animal health, but also across plant health and invasive plants & animals. Until the end of 2010 he was Chief Biosecurity Officer and Chief Veterinary Officer with Biosecurity Queensland. Since then he has established a consultancy business, conducting reviews and providing advice on animal health and biosecurity issues. 
Ron will provide an overview of the current status of varroa and how it affects bees, the current world-wide situation, the history of detections in Australia, with a particular emphasis on the Cairns asian honey bee incursion and the current incursion of both AHB and varroa in Townsville.  
The latter will include information on the techniques that are being used in the response. He will then finish with some information on what bee keepers should watch out for.