Make a bee-line for new group
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.
Rockingham Kwinana Bee Buddy Group president Soren Otto Houlberg.