Make a bee-line for new group

Kwinana Courier - - News -

New group for bee en­thu­si­asts in Rockingham and Kwinana

BACK­YARD bee­keep­ing has be­come a pas­time that many have em­braced, yet it po­ten­tially brings threats to bee bio se­cu­rity in WA.

The Rockingham Kwinana Bee Buddy Group pres­i­dent Soren Otto Houl­berg said WA was free from dis­eases and pests that have dec­i­mated bee pop­u­la­tions across the globe.

“Bee re­searchers are wor­ried and they say ‘it’s not a mat­ter of if but when’, dis­eases and pests such as the var­roa mite come to WA” he said.

“It is not the big api­aries where there will be an out­break, it will start with the am­a­teurs and those with un­reg­is­tered hives.

“That’s why it is so im­por­tant to have your hives regis­tered and join a bee­keep­ers group who run cour­ses on proper man­age­ment and main­te­nance of hives.”

“It’s also not about blame. If any­thing does hap­pen, it’s much bet­ter to re­port it straight away. If you do the right thing, any out­break can be con­tained and its spread avoided.”

His group is a di­vi­sion of the WA Api­arists So­ci­ety and be­gan as a means to save Kwinana and Rockingham lo­cals travel to South Perth for the so­ci­ety’s reg­u­lar meet­ings.

“Four to five years ago the so­ci­ety had 60 mem­bers, to­day that fig­ure is 900,” he said. “It’s due to the ad­vent of the Flowhive that has made keep­ing bees so much eas­ier.”

He said it is swarm sea­son, as bees looked to es­tab­lish new hives.

“It’s about the queen,” he said. “Like any­body, they like to have clean sheets; it’s a nat­u­ral in­stinct to have a clean new hive.”

The group meets on the last Wed­nes­day from 6.308.30pm of each month in the John Slinger room at the Dar­ius Wells Li­brary in Kwinana.

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487113 Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son

Rockingham Kwinana Bee Buddy Group pres­i­dent Soren Otto Houl­berg.

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