September meeting review

WBFS September meeting was swarming with members, both new and old.

Jim Sansom ran us enthusiastically through swarm management, with his years of experience backing him.

Sally Scopel followed with and introduction of birds and bees with plants and continued with the group splitting into local areas to discuss what Bee Friendly plants work best in those areas.

Sara Gormley O’Brien gave us an in depth tour of plants from the bees perspective and the importance of diversity in their feeding.

Just when you thought this was enough, Sally announce that all the plants provided for this months presentation, were gifts for all members to take home. Thanks to Michael Scopel and Plantmark.

I think all left buzzing

Letter of thanks from Margaret Strong

Following the amazing presentation from Margaret Strong on her process of candle making from Bees wax, we received this beautiful letter that just had to be shared.

Hi Emma and team at Bee Friendly,

Thank you for asking me to share my candle making skills with your group last week. I had great fun and it has got me going on the candles again. Win/win!

What impressed me most that afternoon was the warmth and friendliness of your welcome and all the ways different ones of you were attentive to my needs throughout the afternoon. The friendly energy of your group is contagious and this is an ingredient I would like to add and multiply in every meeting anywhere. My husband Ron, who came just to support me, had a thoroughly good time and enjoyed all the presentations too.

I am overwhelmed by your spontaneous gift of the Swiss Bee House. It will meet my needs perfectly; supporting my move towards allowing nature to do all the work so that I can enjoy the fun parts of veggie gardening like harvesting and eating! Many of my vegetables are in a deep mulch food forest and I have had the most productive Winter ever. The bees will have plenty of work to do. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. I have a position picked out for the bee house which has morning sun and where I will be able to observe it from the house. It is so beautiful it will be a constant delight.

I intend to be at your next meeting to see what else I can plant to keep native bees healthy and happy throughout the seasons.

Well done folks,



August meeting review

What a fantastic August Bee meeting we had, talking about “what to do with all that wax”

Firstly, with Woodend Bee Friendly Society celebrating its 4th Anniversary, Samantha took us on a brief history of the club.

Jim explained and presented his method of removing Bees wax from frames and his method of processing the wax so it can be cleaned of impurities and made into blocks.

Margaret then demonstrated her process of using Jim’s Bees wax to make candles and “shed a light” on different wicks and her working to find a balance between the perfect flame length and candle burning time.

Samantha, returned to talk about and share her personal tried and proven recipes for Bees wax lip balm, Bees wax wraps and threw in a Bees wax furniture polish for a questioning member.

I think all left wondering more about , where to get Bees wax as opposed to what to do with it.

Thanks everyone for sharing.

Romsey open air hive


Members of the Woodend Bee-Friendly Society spotted the open-air hive in Romsey two months ago.  The group’s attempt to protect the hive by building a make shift shelter, tagged the “Armish Hood”, with plans to relocate the bees in Spring.
The Group Leader, Emma Collins, says the bees have become noticeably weaker in the colder weather.

Emma, interview with ABC Radio

A change to our Group Leader

After four amazing years as group leader, David Gormley-O’Brien has stepped down to pursue a new venture with Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group.

We would like to thank David for all the time and effort he has contributed, he has been an amazing source of inspiration and motivation for many. We all hope your next venture will bring you as much happiness as you have given this group.

And for the new group leader, Emma Collins, although sliding into some big shoes, your enthusiasm and practical experience i’m sure will have you stomping around in no time. Great luck.