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.

Excellent turn-out at Introduction to Beekeeping course in March

Twenty-four members of the Woodend Bee-Friendly Society enjoyed the most recent Introduction to Beekeeping course conducted by our veteran beekeeper, Jim Sansom, on March 13 and 20 at the Woodend Community Centre. The course was intentionally theoretical, giving a good basis for the practicum on handling bees scheduled for October.

A heads-up for our next monthly meeting on April 15th, 3pm, at Woodend Neighbourhood House. Jim, Matty, and Matt will be covering the extremely important topic of packing down your hive for winter. Learn how to prepare best for enhancing your hives’ chances for surviving the cold, lean months.

Vale Bill Middleton

Bill and Woz intently discussing the finer aspects of natural beekeeping while Sally smiles on beatifically.

It is with a deep sadness and sense of loss that we hear the news that Bill Middleton passed away a few days ago after a short illness. Bill was a very much appreciated member of the Woodend Bee-Friendly Society and was very passionate about Warré and Kenyan bar hives. He will be remembered fondly for his good humour, enthusiasm, and practical workmanship (he was a very competent woodworker).

Our sincerest sympathies to his wife, Lyn, and other members of his family coping with their loss.

David Gormley-O’Brien, Emma Collins, and the WBFS leadership team.

How do bees make honeycomb hexagonal?

156046_846325632052151_2224689885290038091_nThe perfect hexagonal array of bees’ honeycombs, admired for millennia as an example of natural pattern formation, owes more to simple physical forces than to the skill of bees, according to a new study.

Engineer Bhushan Karihaloo at the University of Cardiff, UK, and his co-workers say that bees simply make cells that are circular in cross section and are packed together like a layer of bubbles. According to their research, which appears in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the wax, softened by the heat of the bees’ bodies, then gets pulled into hexagonal cells by surface tension at the junctions where three walls meet.

For more see

Have a swarm or a wild beehive? Whom are you going to call?

Have a wild beehive or swarm in your backyard?  Whom are you going to call?  Emma, David, and Neville from the Woodend Bee-Friendly Society were called out today to move a wild hive of bees in a woodbox in Sunbury today.  As you can see from the photos the beehive was quite large and vigorous with lots and lots of lovely honeycomb.  Hopefully we have successfully given the bees a new home in Riddells Creek.

Emma, David, and Neville


Prising the woodbox lid open. OMG there are a lot of bees in there.
Best use of a dust pan that I can think of.
Job well done. Emma and the new hive in Riddells Creek.

Interested in BEEKEEPING? Want to learn more? Bendigo VAA Field Day 12th October

Interested in BEEKEEPING?   Want to learn more?
Please Keep This Date Free – Sunday 12th October 2014.
Bendigo Branch of Victorian Apiarists’ Association Inc.
35th Annual Beekeeping Field Day
Please note new venue
Bendigo Schools Trade Training Centre
Trotting Terrace, Junortoun.
Vicroads Country Directory Map 608 ref. J8
9.30am to 3.00pm
THEME: “Bee Recovery After Two Poor Seasons“.

Attractions will include something for both professional and hobbyist beekeepers.

Open Bee Hive Demonstrations.  

Bring your own protective gear as required – Overalls/hat/veil/gloves.
There will be three separate stations of hives where you can ask questions, get your hands into, or simply watch – hiving a swarm, finding the queen, supplementary feeding, general bee hive husbandry.
Plus Top-Bar bee hives demonstration.

Hobbyist Corner

Demonstration of various pieces of equipment and explanation of their use.
Extraction of honey from honey combs.
Heavy trucks, light trucks/utes and various methods of loading bee hives for transport.

Auction of Bee Materials

Now is the time to check out that shed and find the things you have no further use for.
Bring them along and make a profit.

Things to Buy

Queen Bees p.o.a. (Contact Max Maunder ( 03 5446 7911)
Collect and pay on the day.  
Beekeeping Equipment Suppliers for Beekeeping gear.
Food and refreshments from 10am

DPI Disease Instruction

Apiary Officers from the Dept. Primary Industries will instruct beekeepers on recognition of various diseases and methods of treatment.

Gate entry $5. p.p.   Lucky Gate Prizes. (1.00pm)

Further Information contact:
President Don McArthur 03 5449 3294
Secretary Eileen McDonald  0439 722 128

From Bendigo – Take McIvor Highway to Harness Racing Club, turn right into St Vincents Road, follow past Catholic College around bend (Trotting Terrace) with Field Day venue on left.  Signs will be in place.
From Heathcote, turn left from McIvor Highway.