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New Bee Keeper in The Pocket, NSW looking for Mentor

Hi Everyone,
I’ve just started keeping bees in August 2016, and have now built the colony up to 3 hives.
I’m loving the experience and gradually increasing my experience through a 1 day course in Mullumbimby and also You Tube video’s.
I’d love to have a mentor though around this area, who I could work with and help with their Hives, so much to know and wanting to give my bees the best care
Warm regards
Sanctuary in The Pocket

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Hi Jonathan, we are in Upper Main Arm, bordering Mt Jerusalem National Park. First flow hive for 2 months. Would be no good as mentor, coz you with 3 hives prob know way more, but good to know some people in the neighborhood.

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Hi Webclan,

It’s beautiful up there, no I don’t know a lot, just started last year, and 3 hives just means am a little crazy, not 3 times more knowledge :grinning:
Thanks for responding


Hi Jonathan, I’m just over the Chincogan ridge from you,near Mullumbimby in the Brunswick River Valley. I’ve been in and out of beekeeping for a long while but seriously back in these last two years.

The Mullumbimbees Natural Beekeeping Group on Face Book is a useful place for local knowledge. If you are on FB, message me and I will invite you into the group.

Thanks for responding
Yes am a member of the FB group, but haven’t had a great deal of luck sourcing a mentor .
Am just looking for someone I can help and ask questions of to build up my knowledge.
Would you be ok if I drop in, next time you’re doing an inspection of hives ?

You have picked a great source of information in @sciencemaster. Of course he has been a professional educator, so that is another bonus! :blush: Hope you guys can get together.

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“has been”, excellent phrase to describe this old person. Only joking, thanks Dawn SD for the kind words.

Jonathon, you are most welcome to bring your bee suit and come along and help. I’m in the process of buying a new ventilated bee suit and I should have it by the end of next week. I will message you closer to the day. I’ve split the colony in my Flow hive and this has slowed their honey gathering a little. Not sure when my next Flow harvest will be but we will pull out one of the Flow frames and check it out.

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Thank you both, that’s a great help for me !

Hi Johathan, I live up near Potty, but i am brand new too so probably not much help to you. But all the best with the hive.

Thanks @BeeShack , maybe you could come along, when we get organised

My new bee suit is due to arrive next Tuesday and I will probably be doing something interesting towards the end of the week. Removing and checking one of the flow frames is already on the to do list as is merging frames from different colonies to build one very strong one. I want to use the newspaper bag method, something I’ve not done before.

Speaking of new experiences, today I needed to reset a couple of lids that were sitting unevenly on their hives. I put on the veil and gently lifted the lid of the first hive. All it needed was a little twist to reseat it, but the girls were immediately in attack mode. They kamikazed in on the black socks I was thoughtlesssly wearing and hit me multiple times on both ankles. I guess the socks stopped quite a number of the stings but it was a very sobering experience.

I retreated a few metres and flicked off the girls who had attacked. There were no stings still in my skin and I brushed my socks as best I could, to remove any unseen venom sacs. I still needed to reseat the lid which I did gently and carefully without problems.

There remained the second hive lid to be reseated. It was too good an opportunity to pass up because it was a chance to replicate my inadvertent experiment.

A similar experience ensued with multiple bees immediately attacking my black socks. Again I beat a very hasty retreat and this time was quick enough to avoid more stings.

On reflection, I believe the cocked up lids had created back entrances to the hives and the bees had posted guards. Any disturbance and the guards were ready to attack.

I’ve read that black is likely to attract an attack because some of the bees’ natural predators are black in colour. Based on today’s experience, I’m inclined to agree.

I heard mentioned the ‘avoid black’ but your experience is the first to me that confirms.
@sciencemaster, if you have a day of action coming up, I’ll suit up and come along if it’s ok, even help if needed of course.
Hoping a day is coming up soon where I don’t have to work elsewhere.
If us locals share our ‘action days’ and we can observe and assist each other, I reckon we all learn real fast, and hands on.

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Towards end of next week will be great, looking forward to it

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