The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc.
Do you know
Find out some interesting bee facts in our About Bees section.
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society Inc. was formed at a meeting of nine people on 20 September 1979 following an Adult Education course at the Gold Coast College of TAFE. Today we have over 420 members.
The course was conducted by Mr John Rosser, who was later appointed Patron of our Society. From the beginning, the main aim of the Society has been to promote the Hobby of Beekeeping & to provide information & assistance to fellow members & members of the public in relation to the keeping of Honey Bees.
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. would like to thank Rachael & Vern Kubinski of V’s Bee’s for providing a competitive, local beekeeping supply business on the Gold Coast.
We wish them well in this their third year of operation.
and encourage members to support this local business.
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. acknowledges the generous support of the City of Gold Coast Covid-19 community organisation recovery grant program, which provided our organisation with essential funding to respond to and recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
BEEcome a member
Apply here to Join the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. and receive monthly newsletters, invitations to monthly Member Meetings, workshops and connect with other local Beekeepers.
In 2020 The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. affiliated with the Amateur Beekeepers Association of NSW (ABA) . The ABA’s centralised membership system takes care of membership administration tasks.
Members use the ABA system to join our association along with the ABA, pay fees and update their own details.
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. welcomes new members, existing members and visitors to attend and volunteer at all events.
Our regular meetings are held:
- Committee Meeting: First Monday of each month
- General Members Meeting: Third Sunday of each month.
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc. operates a facebook account @GCABS.official
Honey Bee Swarms
Public health and safety issues
Swarming can be alarming to the general public in residential areas.
Thousands of bees are on the loose and flying in a mass before they cluster on a shrub or enter the cavity of a house. It is common for people to become anxious about the possibility of bee stings. A swarm of bees is usually docile and will not sting passers by.
DO NOT SPRAY THE BEES WITH ANYTHING : fly spray, chemicals or water will harm the bees.
Why do honey bees swarm?
Bees usually swarm in spring or early summer. Swarming is the way bees reproduce and make more colonies.
- In nature, swarming is a response to the impulse to reproduce and, unless managed, is the natural way that your honey bee colonies will reproduce.
- The queen will leave the hive with about half the worker bees to establish a new colony elsewhere.
- Swarming usually occurs in early spring through to summer. A thin nectar flow and plenty of pollen to promote brood rearing are the ideal floral conditions that lead to swarming.
What you need to tell the beekeeper
- How accessible is the swarm?
- How high is it?
- Is it in a tree, on a post, or in/on a building.
- How long has the swarm been there?
- The location (address) of the swarm?
- Are the bees getting into the house yet?
- Please note there may be over 40,000 bees in a large colony.
- Some beekeepers may charge for this service but most will accept a small donation towards their club.
Types of swarm
- When the old queen leaves the colony with half the workers – this is known as the prime swarm.
- The parent colony is left with a number of ripe queen cells to produce a replacement queen for the original colony.
- At times, another swarm will leave the original colony with a virgin queen hatched from these queen cells. This swarm is much smaller and is called a secondary or after swarm.
- In other cases, the whole colony, headed by the original queen of that colony, absconds the hive. This is often a very small swarm and is called an absconding swarm. An absconding swarm can be triggered by starvation, invasion of pests or disease.
What do honey bees do after swarming?
- On leaving the original colony, the swarm will cluster as a group on a shrub , a tree branch or a fence.
- Prime and absconding swarms headed by an old queen will usually cluster within ten metres of the hive they swarmed from. This is the ideal time to catch them.
- Swarms headed by virgin queens fly a longer distance and often cluster higher.
- Then, bees from the cluster will seek out a suitable cavity in which to set up their new colony. They can find a suitable location within a few hours. The cluster leaves their temporary resting place with the queen and goes to the new location to set up their new hive.
If you see a swarm of bees you can contact a member of the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society for advice.
For bees living inside a house wall or living inside a tree cavity please contact:
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeeper’s Society inc.
PO Box 30, NERANG Qld 4211
Colin Allen - Secretary
Rachael Kubinski - Vice President
Dr. Kathy Knox - Education Officer
John Vallance - Membership / Biosecurity Officer