Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society Inc.
This article has been written based on information provided by Col Payne, one of the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society Inc. founding members.
The Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society Inc. was formed at a meeting of nine people on 20/9/79 following an Adult Education course at the Gold Coast College of TAFE.
The course was conducted by Mr John Rosser, who many years later appointed as the 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 initial meetings were often held at John’s parents (Pop and Essie) home in Benowa, both of whom shared their vast knowledge and experiences with our members and were always there to answer member’s questions and queries. Elsie raised the family from their Benowa home while also breeding Queens for their own and other beekeepers hives whilst Pop followed the honey flow with the hives and collected the honey.
Both “Pop” and “Essie” became the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society Inc. inaugural Patrons. At the back door of their home stood a Straw Skep which housed a working hive of Australian Native Bees that became Bob Harrisons’ inspiration for the design of the logo used by the club. In this, the Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society Inc. 35th year, several of the original founding members are still current members.
In the early days of beekeeping, the straw skep was used throughout England, Europe and most of the civilised world to house honey bees. The straw provided a good source of insulation against the weather conditions whilst the bees then made the interior waterproof by sealing the hive internally with propolis. The big disadvantage of straw skeps was the fact that the skep had to be destroyed to gain access to the honey and comb.
Under Australian Biosecurity Regulations, Honey Bees must be kept in hives that contain removable frames to enable each frame to be inspected for disease or infection.