Welcome to the canberrabees.com forum, a small site created to support local beekeepers in the Canberra region. Hopefully this post can answer some questions about why the site was created and what we are trying to achieve by creating a local forum.
How/why did this site come about?
A couple of local Canberra beekeepers with previous experience from outside of the ACT got talking one day about experiences with the existing local club and lack of local online resources and decided we’d have a go at providing an alternative to local beekeepers. Starting with offering a successful (free) swarm collecting service in Canberra with a quick and easy site to locate a local swarm collectors, our site has slowly expanded. The primary site now includes basic tutorials, photos of our beekeeping experiences and has also expanded into providing courses in the local region. This forum is the latest addition.
Are you a club?
Currently, not in the traditional / formal sense no. We are just a bunch of like minded beekeepers with a corner on the Internet. We want to spend our time with other beekeepers talking about beekeeping, not playing politics or getting bogged down unnecessarily in administrative tasks.
In the past we have been in talks with the ABA (http://www.beekeepers.asn.au) to discuss forming a club in the ACT, but the primary motivation is to provide insurance to Canberra beekeepers who would like to purchase it. This was after a lack of action from the local club to organise a personal beekeeping insurance option for members. In the meantime, if you are looking for insurance, we suggest contacting the Goulburn District Beekeepers Club (http://www.goulburnbeekeepers.asn.au) and let them know that we sent you.
How much does it cost?
Nothing, we’ll spot you.
We talk to a great number of beekeepers in Canberra that aren’t part of the local club, with one of the primary reasons for this decision being the perceived lack of value from club membership fees. We don’t have fees and we keep our forum completely open (so don’t register if you don’t feel the need!). If you do use the resources here, we do hope you choose to ‘pay it forward’ in the form of help/support to other beekeepers (even if it’s not on this site!). Contributing back in the form of feedback/posts/experiences etc. helps everyone. No matter where you are on your beekeeping journey, there is likely someone locally who can benefit from your input and experiences.
Where do you meet?
We acknowledge that meeting in person once a month has its benefits, but asking basic beekeeping questions isn’t really one of them. Consider this site your 24/7 beekeeping meeting and beginner’s corner. The benefit of carrying out discussions online and in the open is that others are free to contribute over time and the information remains available to new beekeepers that may have similar questions. If you need something more personal, consider asking for assistance or advice from a mentor locally on the forum as there may be beekeepers in surrounding suburbs available to assist with your hives.
What kind of hives do you use?
Primarily Langstroth, but we’re happy to get involved and support beekeepers with all hive types. There are several local beekeepers with Kenyan Top Bar and Warre hives and variations on these themes eg. long Langstroth. Many locals build their own hives from scratch, so if you’re interested from an engineering/woodworking perspective there is plenty of local advice available.
I have a Flow Hive, is that OK?
Sure. I have one too.
I am also an active contributor to the Flow online forum (http://forum.honeyflow.com/users/RBK/summary) with over 500 posts. Not only that, we have collectively worked with many local Flow hive owners to get their Flow hives up and running in Canberra with advice specific to the region. If you haven’t managed to ‘turn the handle’ yet, let us know what you’re up to.