The Annual General Meeting of the Southern Highlands apiarists Association will be held on Wednesday 19th April 2017. at 7 pm. at the  Mittagong  RSL. cnr. Bessemer St. and Old Hume Hwy. Mittagong.

Election of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and 3 Committee members.

If insufficient nominations are received to fill all vacancies, the candidates nominated are taken to be elected and further nominations are to be received at the meeting.

To be nominated and vote, you must be a financial member of the ABA branch.

Nominations must be signed and lodged with the Secretary by 12.04.2017

Jim  Stonier, Secretary SHAA.  PO Box 3167, Robertson NSW  2577



General Meeting March 15th.

Southern Highlands Apiarists Assn.  

A general meeting for March will be held at the  Mittagong  RSL, cnr. Bessemer St. & Old Hume Hwy. at  7pm. on Wednesday 15th. March.

Members and guests are welcome to the meeting. Also a pre-meeting table has been booked in the dining area from 5.30pm for members wishing to get together prior to the meeting.  Meals and refreshments are available to purchase.

After a brief business meeting, there will be a talk on how to prepare your hive for the  Winter  and what are the options for feeding bees if required.

Autumn is preparation time in the beekeeping calendar, as Winter can be a testing time for bees and their keeper.


SHAA Honey Extraction Workshop

SHAA  Honey Extraction Workshop.

SHAA will be conducting a workshop on Sunday the 12th of March at Denis Garbutts workshop, 5 Amy St. Bundanoon commencing at 10 am.

The workshop will be a “hands on”honey extraction using the clubs new extraction equipment.

There will be 500g jars of honey, from the club hive for sale $5.

If you need fully assembled full depth frames, they are available at $5 per frame. (please order prior to workshop)

A limited number of assembled 8 frame FD hive boxes are available at $38.

A  BBQ sausage lunch will be available,gold coin donation, please let us know if you are staying for the BBQ so we can cater for required number.

CONTACT: Denis Garbutt.  0419 312 086    email:

SHAA. Newsletter Feb. 2017


Southern Highlands

Apiarists Association Inc.



There have been some changes in the Committee.  Late last year John Scott resigned due to personal commitments.  The Vice President, Greg McLaughlin has taken on the role of President and Reg Marsh is the new Vice President.  Aisha Martino also resigned as Treasurer due to her relocation to Sydney and Denis Garbutt is now the Treasurer.

John Scott who is one of the founding members of the Club has contributed an enormous amount of time and effort into the Club and has indicated that he is still available to assist members with their beekeeping.   The Committee would like to express their thanks to John.

Aisha who took over the role as Treasurer from Jo O’Brien at the last AGM and we would like to thank Aisha for a job well done.

This leaves our Committee reduced from 7 to 5 members, so we are asking the members to advise the Secretary if they would be available to take up one of the committee positions.

We have moved our meetings to midweek, they will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7pm at the Mittagong RSL Club.

Field Days will still be held on a Sunday morning, and these days will be advised by email.

So far we have had no success in finding a permanent Apiary Site for the Club Hives and they are still located at the temporary site at Roberston.

The Club now has available Honey Extraction Equipment that can be borrowed by the members by contacting either Greg McLaughlin or Denis Garbutt.

The first general meeting for 2017 will be held on Wednesday 15th February, 7pm at the Mittagong RSL.




PRESIDENT               Greg McLaughlin      

VICE PRESIDENT      Reg Marsh     

SECRETARY               Jim Stonier         

TREASURER              Patsy Bingham 

TRAINING                   John  Scott                 and INFORMATION

COMMITTEE              Denis Garbutt    

COMMITTEE              Norma  Dye      




February Meeting

Southern Highlands Apiarists Association will hold a general meeting on Wednesday 15th February, 7pm. at the Mittagong RSL, cnr Bessemer St. & Old Hume Hwy.

Following the business meeting there will be a presentation on the “Detection & Control” of Small Hive Beetle.   Also there will be a briefing by Denis Garbutt on the new Extraction Equipment now available on loan to members.

Members and Guests are welcome. Please ask the Doorman for directions to meeting.

October Field Day


After the bad weather on our field day in September hopefully October will be better weather for us ( John Scott has predicted this ).

During this field day we will inspect the club hives for condition and health.

Also we will be able to inspect the three alternative types of hive boxes, Top Bar, Flow Hive and Warre’. For members who are starting their first hive, be it a Nucleus or a collected swarm, the meeting will be the ideal time to ask all those questions and get some instructions, so if the weather does not co-operate we will still hold the meeting as there is cover and coffee available.

Looking forward to seeing all members and guests for a very informative field day.

July Meeting

Our next meeting is at The Bundanoon Men’s Shed at 10:30 am on Sunday 17th July.
The speaker will be Hayley Pragert, NSW Bee Biosecurity Officer to talk about her role in beekeeping in NSW and also talk about the management of diseases in beekeeping.
We hope to see you there.

February Field Day – Wax rendering and honey harvesting.

The second meeting of the year was on the very seasonally relevant subject of extracting honey and rendering wax.

After a quick meeting it was time to move on to Denis’s shed to see how he uses his two frame extractor to get honey out of the frames.

The first step Denis demonstrated was uncapping the honey.

Uncapping a frame for extraction.

Uncapping a frame for extraction.

Denis used a steam power uncapping knife to easily slice the cappings off the frames so that the honey can be spun out of the frames in the extractor.
After uncapping two frames, they were placed in the extractor. The frames then spun in the extractor which caused the honey to fly out to the drum of the extractor where it could be collected from the valve at the bottom of the drum.

Once the first two frames were empty, these empty frames are commonly called “stickies”, it was time time to uncap two more frames for extraction. There was a chance for other members to have a go at uncapping as well as using the extractor. Members were also show a cold uncapping knife and an uncapping comb that can be used to breaking open cappings that are too low for the knife.

Frames in the extractor ready for extraction.

Frames in the extractor ready for extraction.

With a few frames extracted it was time to see Denis’s solar wax melters and his wax “urn”. Wax is a valuable product of beekeeping that can have many uses.

It was an interesting field day for all in attendance. Denis will also be very kindly donating this extractor to the Association for use by members once he purchases his new one.

Other members had a chance at uncapping and using the extractor.

Other members had a chance at uncapping and using the extractor.

We are very thankful to Denis for his kind donation which will be very helpful to members who need an extractor.

Once the field day was over and members left Denis still had much work to do. By the end of the day he had extracted from 34 frames and had gained just over 80 Kilograms of honey from them. That is a good result for for 34 frames.

Field Day – Come and learn from Bruce White.

We managed to score a beautiful sunny day for the field day with Bruce White.

We had a good crowd turn up to see Bruce White in action and learn from what he had to say.

The first item on the agenda was a session on how to find a queen. The method shown to us by Bruce was one that can be used if you are unable to find the queen by inspecting the frames first.


The method was to put an empty box under the brood box with a queen excluder between the two. Each frame is then taken from the brood box one at a time and shaken in front of the hive. a white board or sheet laid out in front of the hive with a ramp leading up to the entrance are advised to be placed in front of the hive first. You then wait for the bees to march into the empty box. The workers will go through the queen excluder into the brood box with the queen being left in the empty box, prevented from entering the brood box by the excluder. She can then be found in this box. Sounds easy right. I would imagine most of the time it is but not today.

While we waited for the bees to go back into the hive it was decided Bruce would show us how to split a hive.


Work began on the split occasionally checking on the other hive to see how the bees were going there.

Splitting the hive was easy enough. It was a matter of finding the queen in the hive, deciding which hive she would go into and then distributing the frames of the hive between the split so that they each had enough resources. The split without a queen was then given a new queen to make them queen-right.

The hive with the old queen was placed facing the opposite direction and over the next week or so it was slowly rotated back in the original direction by a 1/8th turn every 3 or 4 days. The other part of the split was placed in the original position.


Once the split was complete it was time to return to the find the queen in the first hive. At this time it was found that there were a large number of bees under the ramp. The queen was found amongst this group and then lost again before being found and eventually returned to the hive.
Despite the difficulties of the day this method of finding the queen is a good one and with a sheet and ramp put in a bit sooner it should work a bit smoother.

All beekeepers in attendance, old and new, learnt something new on this day.
We are very thankful for Bruce White for taking some time out to teach some very valuable lessons in beekeeping that I am sure will help many of not all of the members in attendance on the day.


June Meeting – Plants for bees

What plants are good for bees?

Peter Lach-Newinsky has spent much time researching the plants that can be found in the Southern Highlands how they may or may not benefit bees.
You may not be able to plant enough plants to feed your bees on your own yard but the more bee freindly that we and other people plant the more variety of food sources there will be for our bees.

Peters talk was delivered with a theatric enthusiasm that kept everyone interested.Peter Lach-Newinsky on bee friendly plants

One of the big messages that came through was that even though some plants provide a better quality of nutrient than others, the important thing is a diverse range of plants for the bees to forage from. Even many of the plants we consider weeds can be very valueable sources of pollen and nectar and Peter encouraged us not eliminate them form our lawns and even to set aside areas to let weeds flourish and provide food for our bees.

For information on plants in the Wingecarribee area and information on plants for pollinators generally information can be found in the links below.

PLN Bee Plants Wingecarribee bioregion 0212 Version 2 2016

PLN, Local Plants For Local Pollinators 07

12-014 Pollen and Nectar Supplies – Lower Res 1