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Workshops

Exciting stuff….   Here is the list of our workshops for 2018. a very wide range of topics covered!

Build an Australian Stingless Bee Hive: $200 + $345 = Total $545 for a 1½ day workshop

October 21, 2018, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

*Private Address



Build an Australian Stingless Bee Box (Hive)

 

1 day for construction – 21st October 2018 + ½ day – 4th or 10th November 2018 for propagation of the colony.

This is an exciting two-part workshop:

  • Part 1 = learn about the life of the stingless bees, construct your box and propagate the colony in 2018 – Cost = $545 see the breakdown of the cost below, as well as payment details.
  • Possible Part 2 = a year later, you will have the opportunity to register for a workshop featuring harvesting the stingless bee honey in 2019 – cost to be announced.                                                                     

Overview

Over the day and a half workshop, Bob Luttrell (Bob the Beeman) will take you on a journey of building your own Australian Stingless Bee box. You will not only build a home for your bees, but will also learn how to propagate the new colony into your hive and manage your bees so they are as healthy and happy as possible.

You will leave this workshop with a fully built and functional Australian Stingless Bee box, and a great deal of knowledge about how to look after your Australian Stingless bees. Important to note: ‘nature’ works at its own pace and whilst Bob will guarantee and support the viability of your colony for its first year, he will only release your hive to you when he considers it to be viable, usually six to eight weeks after the propagation.

You will learn all you need to manage and sustain your own Australian Stingless Bees including:

Day 1:

  • An education session on Australian Stingless Bees, their life style, what they need in terms of housing and where they need to be located
  • Step-by-step tuition on how to build an Australian Native Bee box
  • Working in pairs, you will each build your own box over the course of the day – meaning that each participant will have a hive to take home
  • All materials will be provided

The ½ day – the group of participants will be divided, so half will attend on the first ½ day and the other half on the second ½ day:

  • You will learn about maintaining an Australian Native Bee colony
  • You will learn how to ‘seed’ the new hive by working with Bob to propagate your colony from a donor colony
  • Your hive will be complete with a colony of Australian Stingless Bees. Attention: Please see the note above, to ensure the viability of the colony, Bob will care for it for the first 6 weeks to 2 months before releasing it to you.

Is this Workshop for you?

If you have seen these tiny bees in your garden already, and want to take your observations to the next level or you are just keen to venture into Australian Stingless Bee keeping, then this workshop is for you!

The knowledge you will take away . . .

In addition to taking away your own constructed Australian Stingless Bee Box that is populated with a colony, you will also understand how to care for them. You will know how to develop your Australian Stingless Bee population in the future through building more hives and propagating your current colonies.

In addition, you will meet a lot of other people interested in Australian Stingless Bee Keeping!   You may choose to stay in touch with some of the other participants as a part of your Australian Stingless Bee Keeping journey.

Presenter

Bob Luttrell – Bob the Bee Man

Bob the Bee Man has been a local to the Samford Valley for more than 10 years. He is a long time passionate beekeeper and describes himself as meliponiculturalist (one who raises bees), and inventor. Bob is generous with his time and knowledge, and has another passion – sharing his observations and discoveries.

Bob offers rescue services for Australian Stingless Bees that have been disturbed through trees being removed or damaged. He is passionate about rescuing and relocating these little native treasures as well as educating people about how to preserve them.

Bob has reviewed almost all literature available on Australian Stingless Bees, has attended many workshops, even internationally, and is a well-known member of the unheralded stingless beekeepers looking for ways to preserve and promote these critters. Bob’s activities include boxing colonies to investigate what is needed for the domestication of these bees as well as the production of honey and researching optimum box designs.

Bob is full of dreams, that is what spurs his urge to continually observe, ponder and invent, using both low technology and high technology!! A major dream of his is to put stingless bees beside the European Honey Bee, as the true Australian honey bee, and give the quality pot honey that they produce, the recognition that it deserves. He is continually raising awareness and understanding of the life and needs of these fascinating bees.

Venue

This workshop will be held at a private residence. The address for the workshop will be provided following registration.

Inclusions

  • All materials to construct your Australian Stingless Bee box
  • An active colony of bees in your hive
  • Morning and afternoon teas on Day 1
  • Morning tea on Day 2
  • Lunch
  • Workshop Notes

What you need to bring:

  • A cordless drill
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Picnic Lunch / water bottle on Day 1
  • Water bottle on Day 2
  • Paper/pen if you are an avid note taker!

Workshop Cost and Bookings:

$545 per person, which covers:

  • the workshop registration = $200 – to be paid here at Eventbrite
  • plus materials / bee colony = $345 – to be paid direct to Millen Farm. Participants will be asked to pay the materials fee via direct deposit to Millen Farm. Participants will be emailed Millen Farm bank details after their ticket has been purchased).

**Please note, your place will only be secure when the full amount $545 has been paid**


FAQ

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? 

Yes, please bring along your printed ticket. 

What is the refund policy? 

Sometimes circumstances change and we understand that occasionally you may not be able to attend a workshop you have paid for, so unless other information has been specified on the individual workshop page and as long as we’re notified 7 days before the workshop starts, your options are:

  • to receive a full refund of your course fee if we can find someone to take your place from our waitlist

  • to transfer your amount paid toward any future course

  • to transfer your ticket to a friend or relative

What does the waitlist do? 

If the workshop sells out you can add your details to the event waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, we will look at our waitlist for the next in line. We will also use this to notify you of when/if this workshop will be held again, so please register your interest in advance. 

 How can I contact the organiser with further questions? 

Need more information or have addition questions about the workshop? Please contact our Workshop Facilitator, Libby, at workshops@millenfarm.org.

Collecting Stingless Bee honey – $175 ($85 + $90 materials)

November 18, 2018, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm

*Private Address



Overview

Collecting honey from bees is most commonly done from European honey bee colonies. However, it IS possible to collect honey from the Australian native stingless bee. The stingless bee is tiny, so the amount of honey they collect is also small, but it does have its own distinctive flavour. Robert Luttrell (Bob the Beeman), works in harmony with the stingless bees, and has developed a system that respects the life of the bee colony and uses available modern technology.     In the bee keepers’ world, there are frequent discussions exploring well-established traditions, new ideas and opinions of how the collection of honey can best be done. Bob is continually asking questions and experimenting in his shed so he can create adaptions and additions to the bee box that will fit his philosophy of caring and respecting the bees.

Bees store their honey to feed the colony. So you may ask, how can we share the honey without depriving the bees? Also, the stingless bees keep a tidy and clean home, and one thing Bob has observed is that the little bees do not like broken or spilt honey pots. How can we extract the honey without making a mess of their home? Both these questions impact how the honey can be harvested.

Bob’s answers revolve around his observations around bee behaviour, combined with his vast experience of different designs of bee boxes that provide optimal results for the bees. Bob has also been exploring and fine-tuning the use of the modern-day’s 3D printer and food-quality plastics – not an easy task. His frames have now moved on into the injection molding production.

During 2017 Bob was in a position to share his journey of developing honey collecting frames and results. You may already have a bee hive of Bob’s design, or you may have another design. As Bob thinks around challenges, he has devised a ‘universal’ (honey super) level that will fit on to a 20cm x 28cm bee box.

Is this Workshop for you?

Do you already have a native stingless bee colony in a box? Is your stingless bee colony active and strong? The colony should have been established for at least a year. How do I know if my colony is ready to have a ‘honey super’ to collect the honey? Bob recommends that you have at least two full levels, preferably three. There should be a healthy brood, and good stores of honey and pollen. That’s the colony sorted!

Now, are you ready to take your expertise up another level so you can collect some of your stingless bee’s honey? This workshop will provide the information and the extra level – ‘honey super’ that you will need to do this. Bob goes further, he has some appetising recipes to inspire you!

If you can answer ‘yes’ to those three questions above, then this workshop is for you!

If you are interested in this workshop, but have a different sort of bee box, not one that conforms to Bob’s design, this is not a problem. You will take part in the activity by partnering up with another participant to construct their level – this is integral to the workshop. You will then receive one of Bob’s adaptions (ready-made) which will fit on any box 20 cm x 28 cm.

What you will learn

The workshop will increase your native stingless beekeeping knowledge, and prepare you for extracting some of their honey.

You will learn about:

  • how bees organise their home space naturally
  • different bee box layouts
  • the microbiology of honey from three bee species
  • how the bees use the honey frame
  • the honey extraction
    • a low-tech method
    • a high-tech level

You will construct and take away:

  • your own honey super level and collecting frames

For those who attended Bob’s Millen Farm workshop last year already know that Bob has a wealth of information he loves to share. He is open to questions and will take time to respond to challenges you might be having with your bees.

The knowledge you will take away . . .

Following the workshop, you will be able to confidently add the honey super level to your stingless box and watch the bees fill it up. You will know how to extract the honey without disturbing the bees. You will be able to prepare it for use, and even have some original ideas of how to use it!

In addition, you will be able share your stingless bee experiences with the other participants, some of whom you may have met in the 2017 workshop.

Presenter:

Bob the Beeman, entered the world of stingless bees sixty-five years ago, by watching a bush colony at six years old. This developed into a serious hobby in his teens. Bob says Bees introduced me to the natural world and environment that supported them, and made relevant the study of that world. It was a lesson that has been a valuable part of my life, and still is for any youngster today. Our environment is in their hands”. Although Bob studied Agriculture Science at University of Queensland, his expertise in bees comes from his direct contact with the bees from all aspects, and his lust for learning more. To this end, he has travelled to South America and Asia building connections with the stingless beekeeper communities there. Today, Bob can look back on a lifetime of discovery and innovation to fulfil his passion with the little bees.

Workshop venue

Private residence in Samford Valley. Address will be provided following registration.

Inclusions

  • New 4th level (or universal super) + ventilation stopper + inspection cover
  • Honey frames
  • Workshop notes
  • Recipes
  • Morning tea

Extras:

You can also buy at reasonable cost during the workshop, stocks/replacements of the following:

  • ventilation stoppers
  • Phorid fly / small hive beetle traps
  • Inspection covers
  • Level separators
  • Feeder canisters

** Also available at the workshop are order forms for the high-tech centrifugal honey extractor (2 month lead-in time for delivery)

What you need to bring

  • Paper/pen if you are an avid note taker!
    Cordless drill (preferably with adjustable driving tension for driving screws – but don’t worry if you don’t have this).
  • Please note we require 10 participants for this workshop to run.

 

Workshop Cost and Bookings

Ticket: $85 for registration + $90 for materials / honey frames = Total $175.00

Payment to be paid in two parts, and the reservation is secure upon the full payment.

Registration: $85 paid in Eventbrite

Materials: $90 (Direct deposit details will be provided following ticket purchase.)

!! Important note: on registration inform us of the type of bee box you already have:

  • A box according to Bob the Beeman’s specifications
  • A box 20 cm x 28 cm
  • Another box – give dimensions.

FAQ

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event? 

Yes, please bring along your printed ticket. 

What is the refund policy? 

Sometimes circumstances change and we understand that occasionally you may not be able to attend a workshop you have paid for, so unless other information has been specified on the individual workshop page and as long as we’re notified 7 days before the workshop starts, your options are:

  • to receive a full refund of your course fee if we can find someone to take your place from our waitlist

  • to transfer your amount paid toward any future course

  • to transfer your ticket to a friend or relative

 What does the waitlist do? 

If the workshop sells out you can add your details to the event waitlist. In the event of a cancellation, we will look at our waitlist for the next in line. We will also use this to notify you of when/if this workshop will be held again, so please register your interest in advance. 

 How can I contact the organiser with further questions? 

Need more information or have addition questions about the workshop? Please contact our Workshop Facilitator, Libby, at workshops@millenfarm.org.