First Saturday of each month, Aug to May (2nd Saturday in January)
681 Cashmere Road, Hoon Hay Valley – sign posted
(Access via driveway of 678 Cashmere Rd)
**Parking is only permitted in the first paddock going up the drive on the left** NB – Close the gate if there are animals in the paddock.
**Please bring your apiary registration number with you and write it down next to your name when signing in**
11.00am Session 1 for new beekeepers (hives will be opened / weather dependent)
1.30pm Session 2 for more experienced beekeepers (Those with their own hives)
3.30pm Finish off with a cuppa / feel free to bring a plate for afternoon tea
The hives will ONLY be opened if the air temperature is warm enough.
We expect you to bring your own bee suit. Limited number of suits available only to first time new people being introduced to beekeeping.
DO NOT bring any gloves to our hive site as this can spread disease.**Cancellations will be posted to the website so please check if you are unsure, or you are welcome to phone a committee member to confirm**
The main events at our Club are the regular Field Day meetings. These are usually held in the afternoon of the first Saturday of the month at the Club Site in Cashmere, just to the south of Christchurch. The Field Days provide an opportunity to:
- get together with other beekeepers and club members
- learn new techniques
- improve their beekeeping knowledge and skills
- share their own ideas and experience
- find out about different aspects of beekeeping
- play an active role in the life of the Club
Our Field Days provide an important opportunity for members to enhance their technical knowledge of bees and beekeeping. On arrival at the Field Day, everyone is asked to ‘sign in’ and will usually be given a sticker or badge to write their name on. The formal activities usually start at 1.30pm with a welcome by the President or his deputy. This allows the President and Committee members to make any important announcements, gives updates on relevant issues and share Club news.
The Field Day then continues with a practical demonstration or talk about a specific aspect of beekeeping by an expert from the beekeeping community. Previous speakers have included experienced club members, bee breeders, commercial beekeepers, the Apiculture Technical Advisors from AsureQuality and visiting experts from New Zealand and overseas. These presentations are always followed by a ‘Question and Answer’ session for members. And once or twice a year, we invite beekeeping retailers to display a range of goods and equipment for sale at specially discounted club rates.
Weather-permitting, the Club will then invite members to join us in inspecting the club hives. The club has four hives and we usually form into separate groups to work each one. Each inspection is led by an experienced Hive Manager with support from a volunteer helper. The inspections will usually have at least one specific purpose or aim. Examples might include inspecting for mites or disease, harvesting honey, requeeing the hive or preparing the hive for winter. The Hive Manager will take time to explain what they are doing and answer any questions. However, members and visitors are encouraged to play an active role during the inspections. For example, they are often invited to light the smokers (and try to keep them going), handle frames and give their opinion on what is happening within each hive. After all, the best way to learn about beekeeping is by doing it!
Please note: Everyone needs to wear a veil and make sure that their arms and legs are covered when inspecting hives. The Club can lend a few spare veils and some beekeeping overalls for those who do not have their own. However, a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers tucked into your socks will generally do the trick.
Once the inspections are complete and the hives re-assembled, the hive managers will complete the Hive Diary so that we have a record of what was found and what actions have been completed in each hive. By now, it is usually time for a cup of tea and bite to eat and a chance to chat to your fellow beekeepers. This part of the afternoon is a great opportunity to catch up with other members and check out the books in the CLUB LIBRARY. These are available for loan without charge by club members.
After clearing away and saying goodbyes, it’s usually time for home around 4.00pm.