WHERE TO GET YOUR BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT, BEE COLONY (INC QUEEN) AND INDIVIDUAL QUEENS FROM.
For your hardware and protective gear there are a number of beekeeping suppliers in the South Gippsland area which include Hill Top Hives run by Peter Gatehouse: Fisher's Beekeeping Supplies run by Robert Fisher, Jeeralang Apiary Supplies run by Stan Glowacki, The Bunyip Beekeeper run by William Rogers and a little further afield is Redpath's Beekeeping. Contact details can be found either in our newsletter or Google
The best time of year to order your first colony of bees and new queens is in the autumn or early winter. This is to get your name onto the order or waiting list in preparation for the next bee season which begins with massive hive growth in early spring.
To get your first lot of bees you can make inquiries with the above suppliers but also through the Nuc List and Swarm List within the club as listed on the Club Services page. (The advantage with collecting a swarm is that it is free.)
There are many bee colony and queen suppliers all over the country but it's best to get your bee colonies from a supplier as close to you as possible to ensure that they are acclimatized to local conditions and to reduce the trauma of many hours of transportation.
Queens can be posted across the country with relatively little effect on the bees. There are queen breeders in Victoria but sometimes a particular race of queen or unavailability in general may mean that you have to order from NSW or Qld.
When your queen bee arrives you may not be able to put her into the hive straight away but as along as she and her attendants are kept in a darkish place at a warm room temperature and given a drop or two of water each day, they will be fine for up to 4 days.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO START KEEPING BEES?
The club has members who are suppliers of beekeeping equipment. Other suppliers in and around Melbourne can be found easily on the internet.