Victorian Apiarists' Association

News

  • 1 Apr 2018 3:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2018 VAA Conference- Keynote Speakers

    Professor Norberto García

    Professor García teaches Apiculture at the UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL DEL SUR in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. 

    He is a former professional beekeeper and a private technical consultant of beekeepers in Argentina.

    He is now Senior Consultant of NEXCO S.A., the main Argentine honey exporter; President of the International Honey Exporters Organization (IHEO); President of the APIMONDIA Scientific Commission of Beekeeping Economy;  Member of the Board of Directors of “True Source Honey” (U.S.A); and Chairman of the APIMONDIA Working Group on Adulteration of Bee Products.

    Professor García has worked intensely during recent years to create awareness on the problem of honey adulteration through many presentations in international meetings and publications in specialized journals. His main skills are Honey Quality and International Honey Market Analysis.

    Stuart Anderson 

    Stuart Anderson is co-inventor of the revolutionary honey extraction system, the Flow® Hive. This invention was inspired by Stuart’s son, Cedar, who said; “There must be a better way to get honey from a beehive”. Together they undertook a ten-year journey of designing and testing. 

    When they actually proved they could gently harvest honey without opening the beehive, they then had to somehow bring it to market. The resulting crowd funding campaign became an extraordinary story in itself.

    The Flow Hive has been recognised for its unique innovation; winning the Good Design Australia Product of the Year Award 2016, the D&AD White Pencil Award for Urban Living 2016, the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award 2017 and Silver at the World Beekeeping Awards 2017. Stuart will give a personal account of the family’s story that went from invention to global crowd funding success to where the company is today.

    Since its launch in 2015, the Flow Hive has inspired thousands of new beekeepers around the world with over 48,000 customers in over 139 countries, helping people to have a stronger connection with their environment. 

    Through Stuart’s presentation, you will gain an insight into the challenging and remarkable journey of bringing the Flow Hive to the world, and the accompanying beginner beekeeping resources and beekeeping club support that has supported the growth of healthy beekeepers everywhere as well as having your Flow Hive questions answered as only Stuart can.

    Jody Gerdts 

    Jody Gerdts is the principal researcher and educator at Bee Scientifics. 

    She is a fourth generation beekeeper and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Education and Master’s degree in Environmental Science. She is currently working on her PhD through Latrobe University studying Australian chalkbrood and hygienic behaviour.

    In 2014, Jody founded the business, Bee Scientifics, to provide breeding consultation services for commercial beekeepers and best practice beekeeping training for new and experienced beekeepers emphasising cornerstones of honey bee health: pest and disease management, nutrition and stock selection.

    Professor Boris Baer

    I have used honeybees, leaf cutting ants and bumblebees to study aspects of social insect reproduction and immunity. 

    To do this I pursue an integrative approach, which combines biochemical technologies such as proteomics and evolutionary biology. 

    An important part of my work is to conduct biochemical analyses and to use their outcomes to formulate hypotheses that can be experimentally tested in the field. My idea is to help building a new field of research, which I refer to as evolutionary proteomics. 

    Evolutionary proteomics will not only aim to understand evolutionary processes at the protein level, but will also attempt to quantify variations in proteomic profiles and investigate their consequences for natural and sexual selection.  

    I am specifically interested in the proteomic mechanisms underlying self-non-self-recognition systems in honeybees and leaf-cutting ants, and will continue to address how transcriptional and translational modifications translate into protein-level mechanisms for discrimination against non-self-agents such as microbial and protozoan parasites or ejaculates of competing males during insemination. 

    Such knowledge will be of fundamental significance, but will also be applied in new breeding programs for honeybee stock improvement in collaboration with beekeepers in California and Western Australia.

    My overall goal is to develop a scientifically-guided breeding program that selects for honeybee lineages that are tolerant against diseases and more versatile in coping with environmental stressors. The species I use for my work are all ideal model species for such work as they can be kept in the lab and the availability of techniques such as artificial insemination allow sophisticated experimental manipulations.


  • 21 Jan 2018 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The VAA Beekeepers’ AFL on-line footy tipping competition has been conducted by the VAA for the past five years.

    Its purpose is to encourage camaraderie amongst beekeepers, and over the years had proved a great tool for establishing casual conversations and non-beekeeping discussion amongst members. 

    Like last year, this year’s competition has two parts:

    - the Women’s AFL season competition which commences on Friday 2nd February (and ends with the grand final on Saturday 24th March),

    - and the Men’s season competition which commences on Thursday 22rd March (and ends with the grand final on Saturday 29th September)

     Entry to both competitions is free. This year there are no monetary prizes, just the reward of bragging about how well you can tip.

    VAA President, Kevin MacGibbon, who won the men’s competition in 2013, 2015 and 2017 has issued a challenge to the VAA membership to attempt to score better than him in this year’s men’s competition, not only week by week but also by the end of the season. Last year Kevin did not top the inaugural AFL women’s competition (It was Robert Tyers) but is he is hoping to win this year.

     A few days before the start of each round in each competition, Footytips will email you a reminder to enter your tips. Tips can be entered up to a few minutes before the start of a game. When a game ends, you can view the tips of other members of the competition for that game. Shortly after the last match of a round, you will receive an email informing you of your tipping success. At any time, you can view the beekeepers’ competition ladder.

     You will need to enter your tips for round one of the Women’s competition before match start on Friday 3rd February and for round one of the Men’s completion before match start on Thursday 23rd March.

     How to join our competition

    (Previous year’s tipsters do not have to do this.)

     Step 1. Go to http://www.footytips.com.au  or install the Footytips App on your smart phone or tablet.

     Step 2. If you have never done so, you will need to join Footy Tips. Just click the join button on its home page.

    When you do join, could you please not choose an alias for display on ladders. If you do this, other members of the competition will not know who you are which rather defeats the social interactive purpose of our competition. If you wish you can upload a photo of yourself, preferably in beekeeping attire.

     Step 3. Join the Beekeepers’ Footy Tipping Competition. To find the competition, search for it or go to http://www.footytips.com.au/comps/Beekeepers

    The password for the competition is apismellifera (all one word)

     Please direct any enquiries about the competition to Barry Cooper at barrycooper7@bigpond.com

  • 27 Oct 2017 11:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Saturday 17th February 2018 (9am to 5pm)

    Conducted by VAA Melbourne at the Abbotsford Convent and the adjoining Collingwood Children’s Farm apiary, Melbourne.


    This one-day course is focussed on Summer beekeeping with both regular Langstroth and Flow hives. Topics will include bee friendly plants, honey composition, managing hives over summer, exotic bee pests and diseases, and honey and honeycomb harvesting. It is suitable for those who have previously attended a beginners’ beekeeping course or those who already manage their own hives.


    The cost of the course is $130 which includes course notes, a memory stick of beekeeping resources and morning tea.


    For further information and tickets, click here or go to https://tinyurl.com/y9r8bg4s

  • 27 Oct 2017 11:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Saturday 17th March 2018 (9am to 5pm)

    Conducted by VAA Melbourne at the Abbotsford Convent and the adjoining Collingwood Children’s Farm apiary, Melbourne.

    This one-day course is focussed on Autumn beekeeping with both regular Langstroth and Flow hives. Topics will include bee genetics, raising queens, harvesting wax, re-queening and preparing hives for winter. It is suitable for those who have previously attended a beginners’ beekeeping course or those who already manage their own hives.

    The cost of the course is $130 which includes course notes, a memory stick of beekeeping resources and morning tea.

    For further information and tickets, click here or go to https://tinyurl.com/yarqxkf5

  • 18 Sep 2017 10:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    15th and 29th October 2017 (9am to 5pm)

    Conducted by VAA Melbourne at the Abbotsford Convent and the adjoining Collingwood Children’s Farm apiary, Melbourne.

    The course is designed to provide new or prospective beekeepers (including those with Flow Hives) with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to successfully manage a beehive throughout a beekeeping season, and particularly in springtime. Subsequent courses in February and March 2018 will focus on beekeeping during summer, autumn and winter.

    The cost of the course is $270 which includes course notes, a memory stick of beekeeping resources, a reference book (“BEE Agskills”, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries), a waxed wooden frame and morning tea.

    For further information and tickets, go to https://tinyurl.com/yc8b9lcm

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