Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : February 7, 2017 Edition Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - PAGE 39
PROOF WITH COSTING
HICO Australia invites
All past and present Shareholders, Directors, Staff
and Community members to the Korumburra launch of
at the Korumburra Library,
165 Commercial Street, Korumburra
11am on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Followed by a light lunch and light refreshments
The Hico Story
Dairy herd improvement in Gippsland and Colac
By Ann Andrew
For catering purposes please RSVP
to Jane Spice, HICO Maffra on
5147 1633 or
by Monday, February 13.
Poll Hereford and Hereford bulls are
available for sale. Sired by Elite AI bulls.
Over 50 years breeding quality
For further particulars & inspection contact
Scott Andersen 0409 785 846
John Langley 0418 528 632
1100 KONGWAK ROAD, INVERLOCH
PROOF TO CAROL
Very quiet, good condition,
lightly used. $2,400
0409 581 935
LOCAL beekeepers are being urged to re -
main vigilant for the Small Hive Beetle this
The pest is known to destroy hives, render-
ing them unusable for commercial and hob -
Small Hive Beetle is a small brown-black
beetle that originated from sub -Saharan Af-
The larvae of the beetle cause the most
damage to hives.
Apiarist David Severino, who runs nearly
300 hives, said that the beekeepers need to
be aware of the dangers of the beetle.
“ Small hive beetle we believe it came into
Australia into Sydney on a container from
South Africa around the time of the Sydney
Olympics, ” David said.
“ I t spread throughout the warm humid ar-
eas, such as northern New South Wales and
up along the coast into Queensland. About
five or six years ago we started finding it
along the coastline, and I found it in masses
down here on Phillip Island and in the South
“ They tend to attach the weaker hives, and
the bees can’t control it, and eventually the
bees will leave the hive. It’s not the beetle; it’s
the larvae. The beetle itself is not an issue.
Once they lay their eggs into the honey, and
the larvae eat through the honeycomb, and as
they do that they’re urinating, they just turn it
into the slime and we can’t do anything with
“ The bees can’t control it, they lose their
honey, and then the bees abscond or just die
out. It’s a massive problem. ”
Like a lot of beekeepers, David is migratory,
and works throughout Victoria as well as lo -
cally on Phillip Island.
He said he believes the recent weather pat-
tern has had an impact on the prevalence of
“ I think it’s due to the weather pattern;
we’ve had rainfall, and it’s been more humid
in central Victoria, ” David said.
“ I t’s still around this area, but not in plague
proportions like it was the year before, which
I think is because there hasn’t been any hon-
Work is being done across the country to try
and address the issue.
A Queensland-based research team led by
Dr Diana Leemon and Dr Andrew Hayes is
currently developing a synthetic lure to de -
ploy in a trap to capture the beetle, as part
of a project funded by the Honey Bee and Pol-
“ To date, lab studies have identified com-
pounds present in natural substances that
are highly attractive to Small Hive Beetle, ” Dr
“These compounds have been blended to -
gether into a lure to attract beetles towards
a trap instead of a beehive, and field testing
of the lure has started this month in vari-
ous locations near active bee hives around
“Trapping of Small Hive Beetle with a natu-
ral attractant is currently being carried out to
gather information on the movement and be-
haviour of Small Hive Beetle, and this infor-
mation will help determine the best time and
place to deploy traps with the synthetic lure.
Closer to home, David has his own way of
managing the pest.
“You can set beetle traps, which drown the
beetles in oil. I control it by putting a piece of
Chux cloth under the lid, and because it’s all
just fibres they get stuck, and you can remove
them that way, ” David said.
“My personal view is that beekeepers have
adjusted to it, so we now try to control it our-
selves. It doesn’t mean that the beetles are dy-
ing out, it means we’re better controlling it.
“When I’m removing wild swarms of bees
from houses, I ’m always finding Small Hive
With up to 60 hobbyist beekeepers on Phil-
lip Island, it is important for all concerned to
make sure that hives are properly cared for,
and that beekeepers are registered.
Beekeepers in affected areas – including
Phillip Island and the Bass Coast region –
are encouraged to closely monitor any signs
of changes to their hives, and to contact the
state agricultural department for advice if the
beetle is detected.
For more information, visit www.beeaware.
org.au or visit www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/
agriculture/livestock/honey-bees for instruc-
tions on how to register your hives.
THE history and fascinating development
of the Victorian dairy herd improvement in-
dustry, and the people behind it, have been
recognised in a comprehensive book The
The Hico Story; dairy herd improvement
in Gippsland and Colac, traces the story of
24 small associations, through to their amal-
gamations to the large cooperative that Hico
The first herd testing associations began in
the 1920s when farmers formed associations
and employed a herd tester to take equip-
ment from farm to farm.
The introduction of artificial breeding in
the 1950s had a major impact on herd im-
provement and was closely associated with
The aim of the book was to record the his-
tory of the various organisations that evolved
to become Hico Australia, which formed in
2008 from the merger of Gippsland and Co-
lac Herd Improvement Co-operatives.
Hico chair Stewart McRae said most im-
portant were the people whose passion and
commitment was a vital part of herd im-
“Names such as Otto Marx, Karl Kruspe
and Mike Larcombe in Maffra, Alwyn Michie
in South Gippsland and Grace Baulch at Co-
lac, all had great stories and these needed to
be recorded, ” Stewart said.
“They are just a few of the many people
who have been recognised for their part in
the development of herd improvement. ”
Author Ann Andrew dedicated hours of
research and interviewed farmers and herd
testers through to board members to gain a
comprehensive picture of the industry.
“When I was offered the opportunity to re-
cord the history of Hico, I was not sure what
it would involve.
“As I researched, the story became more
interesting and the need to tell it, more com-
“There have been books written on the
dairy industry from a milk processing point
of view, but little has been recorded of the
primary production side of the industry. ”
Produced by Hico Australia, The Hico Sto-
ry is available in hardcover for $38.50 (inc
The book’s local launch will be in Korum-
burra on Wednesday, February 15 at the Ko-
rumburra Library at 165 Commercial Street
in Korumburra from 11am.
Books are also available to purchase from
the Hico office, phone 5147 1633, or email
The dairy industry
preserved in writing
Bee aware of the Small Hive Beetle
Phillip Island beekeeper, David Severino, is urging hobbyist beekeepers to be vigilant of
Small Hive Beetle, which can destroy entire hives.
Liesl Clarke’s first hive has already pro-
duced 12kg of honey.
SOUTH Gippsland Beekeeper’s newest
member is Liesl Clarke aged 13.
Liesl recently moved to Leongatha from
Tasmania and is passionate about her bees.
It was during holidays with her grandpar-
ents in Inverloch that she became fascinated
with the life cycle of the honey bee and started
assisting her grandfather when he worked his
Liesl quickly decided that she wanted her
own hive once the family had their own home
Liesl calmly works her own bees. Her first
hive has so far produced 12kg of honey.
Already she has had experience in collecting
swarms, working hives and honey extraction.
South Gippsland Beekeepers, meets on the
second Thursday of each month at St Peters
Anglican Church Hall, Leongatha at 7.30pm.
The Hico Story, Dairy herd improvement in Gippsland and Colac
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