Castlemaine hosts bee enthusiasts 

CASTLEMAINE was buzzing yesterday as more than 150 honey and bee enthusiasts attended the Victorian Apiarists’ Association Bendigo branch pack-down day.

The all-day event, held at Bob and Eileen McDonald’s honey farm, is in preparation for winter, when bee keepers must “pack down” the bees to keep them warm.

The day included hive demonstrations, wax-dipping of boxes and talks on disease control.

Mrs McDonald said it was a great networking opportunity for beekeepers, whether they did it for a hobby or produced  honey on a commercial scale.

“It’s really beekeepers teaching beekeepers how to deal with things, like diseases,” she said. Mrs McDonald said it was pleasing that several people new to beekeeping had attended.

Bendigo hobby beekeeper Bill Shay said the annual day was an important tool for sharing and gathering information and ideas.

“It’s a good get-together day and informs people how to pack bees down for winter and allow the bees to keep warm,” he said.

He said hobby bee keeping was a growing interest in the region.

“There are a lot of hobby bee farmers around the area. Once I got into it, I couldn’t stop,” he said.

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