Buzz about Tamworth beekeeping field day


PASSION: Ray Hull has looked after bees all his life. Photo: Gareth Gardner 151116GGA03
PASSION: Ray Hull has looked after bees all his life. Photo: Gareth Gardner 151116GGA03

BEE lovers and honey makers from across the state will swarm to Tamworth for a beekeeping field day.

WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE: Tamworth Apiarists Association president Ray Hull has been a commercial beekeeper for 25 years. Photo: Gareth Gardner 151116GGA05

WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE: Tamworth Apiarists Association president Ray Hull has been a commercial beekeeper for 25 years. Photo: Gareth Gardner 151116GGA05

The event, hosted by Tamworth Apiarists Association, will be hive of activity with a range of industry experts sharing their knowledge.

Kootingal beekeeper and president of the Tamworth Apiarists Association, Ray Hull, has been a commercial beekeeper for 25 years.

See what the beekeeper sees

“I’ve had bees all my life, my granddad had bees, so I was brought up around them,” Mr Hull said.

“You’d have to be living under a rock these days to have not heard that honey bees and beekeepers worldwide are in trouble. The problems are complex, far-reaching.”

The Varroa mite has been destroying bee industries across the world and was recently discovered for the first time in Australia, on a bee in Townsville.

“It’s not like a cow getting a tick, or a dog getting a flea,” Mr Hull said.

“To put it in perspective, a mite on a bee is like someone biting a tennis ball-size hole in you. It leaves an open wound for pathogens and other viruses to get in.”

Mr Hull said it was essential to keep the Australian and New England bee stock healthy, and to act quickly to control any disease outbreak, which is why the field day will have a demonstration of how to detect Varroa mites.

The event will also have information about the nutritional needs of a bee, what makes a good queen, how to make your own queen and beekeeping equipment for sale.

BIG DAY: Beekeepers from Inverell, Glen Innes, Newcastle and Coffs Harbour will travel to the event. Photo: Gareth Gardner 151116GGA02

BIG DAY: Beekeepers from Inverell, Glen Innes, Newcastle and Coffs Harbour will travel to the event. Photo: Gareth Gardner 151116GGA02

Mr Hull said it would be a great opportunity for anyone considering getting their own hive.

“We want to involve all beekeepers regardless of size or experience to get together and look at how to keep our bees in the best possible shape now and in the future,” Mr Hull said.

“We are hoping to further expand the interest in keeping bees; our membership contains hobbyists with a few hives through to full time beekeepers all with a common interest.”

The field day will be held on Saturday, November 26, at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute on Marsden Park Rd, kicking off at 9am and finishing at 5pm. The event is free with a gold coin donation for lunch.

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