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 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 woodendbees@gmail.com 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.

Introduction to Beekeeping Course

Course is now full

Woodend Bee-Friendly Society is offering an Introduction to beekeeping course on Tuesdays 13th and 20th March, 7-9.30pm, at the Woodend Community Centre. The course will be taught by Jim Sansom, aided by some members of the WBFS leadership team.

The course will cover the basics of bee physiology and needs, and explore the various tasks that beekeepers must undertake to ensure that bees are healthy and flourish. There will be a practical counterpart to this course to be held in October.

The cost of the course is $20, payable on the first night, and is open to all members of the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group. If you are not yet a member of the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group you can register online (for $25 individual or $30 family per year) at https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/mrsg/membershipJoin.jsp

If you were registered as a member last year you can renew your membership, if required, at https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/mrsg/membershipRenew.jsp

Make sure that you click on Woodend Bee-Friendly Society in the list of action groups on the online form.

Once you are sure that you are registered as a member of MRSG please send an email to woodendbees@gmail.com with your full name and phone number notifying me of your intention to participate in the course.

The course will have a limited intake of 15 to 20 participants so it will be a case of first in; first served.

David Gormley-O’Brien

WBFS Bee-handling Course on October 15th


Session 1 11am – 12.30pm

1. 100 Dons Road, Newham

Instructor : Jim Sansom 0427 290 012

Participants :

Janet Barker

Kate MacRae

Jack Anticich

Fiona Benson

2. 294 Ashbourne Road, Woodend

Instructor : Samantha Rixon 0428 465 792

Participants :

Kerrie Ritchie and partner

Margaret Thornell

Shaun Brennecke

3. 16 O’Brien Crt, Woodend

Instructor: David Gormley-O’Brien 0408 578 032

Participants :

Chris Bessell

Wolfgang Merl

Ellie Martin

Alinta Bradley

4. 191 Millers Lane, Hesket

Instructor : Emma Collins 0431 994 362

Participants :

Roger Cameron

Robin Allen

Jane Elliott

Rebecca Montessori

Instructor : Paul Green 0437 751 120

Participants :

Adrian Mitchell

Elizabeth Mitchell

Candice Baker

Jennifer Clarke

Instructor : Nev Spiers 0417 117 151

Participants :

Menno Stassen

Matthew Kelcey

Tom Sparrey

Marion Swindon

Session 2  1.30pm – 3.00pm

1. 100 Dons Road, Newham

Instructor : Jim Sansom 0427 290 012

Participants :

Anthony De Fazio

Jann Griffin


Instructor : Samantha Rixon 0428 465 792

Participants :

Hinalei Johnston, partner and child

Tony Strupl

2. 56 Blackmore Road, Woodend

Instructor: David Gormley-O’Brien 0408 578 032

Participants :

Stephen Nangle

Vanessa Henderson

Ian Rennie

Sue Barker

Instructor : Nev Spiers 0417 117 151

Participants :

Pauline Gifford

Chay Granger

Phil Owen

Dez Schepers

3. 191 Millers Lane, Hesket

Instructor : Emma Collins 0431 994 362

Participants :

Christine Beck

Grant Beck

Peter Marshall

Alyce Babauskis

Instructor : Paul Green 0437 751 120

Participants :

Kerry Whyte

Gordon Whyte

Natalie Doran-Browne

Alex Carrel