Bees… we need them like we need sunshine and rain!
Hi my name is Debbie, and I love keeping bees! I started with one hive, then three and then after making a conscious decision that four was enough… I now have seven. But they come and go.
I had toyed with the idea of getting a bee hive on and off for a few years, but I never went ahead as I’d decided it all seemed too hard. Then, a hive I had ordered a year earlier, which had never arrived, arrived. Very early in the morning, in the dark, rather unexpectedly!
I felt a strong responsibility to these little critters though, so I was determined not to sink. Good old Face Book helped me locate a Beekeeping Club about an hour away in Ballarat, and they were my saving grace, as was a local beekeeper who took me under his wing and helped me along. This was early in March 2016.
Approximately six years ago my husband and I moved up to Yackandandah from Hepburn Springs and of course the ‘girls’ came too. I come from up this way. When the girls flew out of their hives here early in May 2017 they thought they were in a second summer compared to where they had gone to bed just the night before… they were smiling for weeks.
I bought my first polystyrene beehive when I was looking to re-house my original hive at the start of winter as it was an old box with a rotting floor.
I was looking on the internet and saw a photo of three hives together: a ‘paradise’ polystyrene hive, a wooden hive and a plastic hive. The photo was taken with a thermal camera in winter. I was amazed at the difference in heat loss between the three hives. The heat was not being transferred to the outside in the polystyrene hive and the bees were using/working most of the hive instead of having to form the tight cluster to keep warm that they usually do. Which was evident in the wooden & plastic hive along with obvious external heat being lost through the outside walls . This superior thermal benefit for my girls appealed to me and later I found the light weight of these hives also a huge benefit when lugging boxes around full of honey.
Once we had settled in here I realized there wasn’t anywhere to buy beekeeping gear locally. After some time I decided to seek an agency for the fab poly hives. I was successful with that and it has grown from some poly hives in the corner of my honey shed to a nice little purpose built shop here at our property in Yackandandah (in a quarter of my husband’s big shed… not happy John)
Our Local BEECLUB
It was evident from chats with folks when we first arrived there was a strong interest in hobby beekeeping from the locals. I checked around re a Club to point these people to, only to find the closest was at Yass! So where could interested folk go to find out information and learn about getting started in hobby beekeeping? Well, there wasn’t anywhere… they needed a club!
They needed a club like the one that helped me. After a year or so I gave into the thought and posted a notice on the Community FB page for anyone interested in coming to a Beekeeping meeting. First meeting was dismal with only one turning up (thanks Sarah) but since then the response has been nothing short of remarkable!
When you are starting out in Beekeeping you can feel overwhelmed with your lack of knowledge about these buzzing (sometimes stinging) tricky little creatures. There is a lot to learn but you don’t need to know it all at once. I encourage you to check if you have a beekeeping club in your area and attending a few times before getting a beehive.
Everyone at the meeting is there because they have an interest in beekeeping and bees and want to learn and/or have the experience to help others. You never stop learning in this hobby… the bees see to that!
Yackandandah Beekeepers Club is on the first Thursday of each month at the Men’s Shed in Yackandandah.
The club also runs a couple of “Introduction to Beekeeping” full day courses in conjunction with Debzzz Beekeeping. Usually Autumn and early Spring.
For meeting agendas check our FB page at “YackaBees” or send me a message.
So here I am, Debzzz Beekeeping… hope to see you at my ‘bee shed’ or a bee club soon!