Jo and Michael’s visit to the Dunedin Beekeepers Club

Saturday April 22nd Dunedin Beekeepers Club

We were early for the Sat afternoon meeting. Brian Pilley who had invited us, described it as an old bowling green; and there was a cloud of bees flying in and out of the fenced apiary in the corner of the site. We were obviously in the right place.

Michael and I investigated the apiary, and we found a long box hive and several more conventional Langstroth hives. The long box hive was certainly intriguing with its 4 different entrances and its high profile.

Inside the Club rooms we met Brian Ellis, the President, and a little later Brian Pilley from Beeline Supplies arrived. The Dunedin folk have a different focus from us here in Christchurch. They talk about what’s going on in their beehives and what’s needing to happen in the next month, and they also have a host of great speakers.

During our visit David Milne from Blueskin Bay Honey spoke about his beekeeping experiences and his ongoing fascination with harvesting and developing products from the venom. 

David brought along some bee venom products for people to try and also the some of the equipment that he uses. The venom is collected by gentle electrical stimulation. The electric stimulus is given using a wire grid and the venom is collected through a silk screen onto a glass plate. This process is gentle and the bees live on to sting another day.

Bee venom, I learnt, is not only an amazing product but also fascinating in the way it is collected and how it is managed afterwards to keep it’s quality and integrity. 

David Milne is involved fully in the Waitate community in Blueskin Bay and I admire how he manages it all.

The Dunedin Beekeepers Club was very interested in learning more about how our Club operates and I invited them to visit us next Spring. 

Michael and I felt very welcome and would encourage Christchurch folk to pop in and visit if you are in Dunedin on their Club day, the second Saturday of the month.

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