15th June 2019 – 8:30am to 5:00pm


Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference 2019

The 2nd Victorian Beekeeping Conference has been convened by a Steering Committee that consists of beekeepers from rural, regional and metropolitan Victoria.

The aim of the Conference is to connect with hobbyist, recreational, sideline and commercial beekeepers from across Victoria. Conference delegates will hear from informative and inspiring presenters including researchers, educators, entrepreneurs, biosecurity specialists, innovators and authors.

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Costa Georgiadis

Costa Georgiadis

Conference Facilitator

We have pleasure in welcoming eco-visionary, landscape architect and ABC Gardening Australia’s host Costa Georgiadis as our MC and speaker for the 2019 Victorian Beekeeping Club Conference.

Costa’s charm, charisma and passion make him an appealing event host. Costa is engaging and highly entertaining and is sure to give the Conference a green edge.

Thanks Costa.

Speaker Line Up

Dr Paulo de Souza

Dr Paulo de Souza

Office of the Chief Executive Science Leader, Cybernetics CSIRO

Dr Paulo de Souza is leading research on micro-sensor technologies and systems.

A physicist and miniaturisation expert, Dr de Souza is recognised internationally in field robotics, geochemistry and environmental engineering.

Paulo is a collaborating scientist on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission, which landed and operates two large robots, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars.


Hilary Kearney (USA)

Hilary Kearney (USA)

Founder of Girl Next Door Honey

Hilary Kearney is the author of QueenSpotting and the creator of Girl Next Door Honey, a beekeeping business that offers educational opportunities to hundreds of new beekeepers each year.

She maintains the blog “Beekeeping Like A Girl” and her writing on bees has appeared in Modern Farmer and Gritmagazines. Her work has been the subject of features in Huffington Post, Vogue, Mother Earth News, and other outlets.

She rescues wild bee colonies and manages around 90 hives in her hometown of San Diego, California.

Professor Ben Oldroyd

Professor Ben Oldroyd

Professor of Genetics, University of Sydney

Ben Oldroyd is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the University of Sydney. Ben completed a BSc (Agr) in 1980, PhD at the University of Sydney in 1984 and a Doctor of Science in 2005. Ben’s research focuses on the behavioural genetics of honey bees, the evolution of social behavior and evolution more broadly. Ben is also heavily involved with the Australian beekeeping industry, including helping beekeepers breed better, healthier strains. Ben has made important contributions to understanding the genetic basis of worker sterility in honey bees.  Ben has authored nearly 300 scientific papers on bees and social insects.

Dr Amy-Marie Gilpin

Dr Amy-Marie Gilpin

Ecologist, Pollination Biologist - Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment

Dr Amy-Marie Gilpin is an ecologist with research interests in pollination ecology, global change biology, behavioural ecology, invasion ecology and agroecology. Amy-Marie is particularly interested in both pure and applied ecology and employs a variety of techniques such as large scale manipulative field experiments as well as manipulative glasshouse and growth cabinet experiments to study interactions between plant-pollinators and anthropogenic change.

Stuart Anderson

Stuart Anderson

Flow Co-inventor & Director

Stu Anderson, a second-generation beekeeper from New South Wales, Australia, is co-inventor of the revolutionary honey extraction system, the Flow® Frame. This invention was inspired by Stuart’s son Cedar who said; “There must be a better way to get honey from a beehive”. Together they took on what became a ten-year journey of designing and testing. When they proved they could gently harvest honey without opening the hive, they then brought it to market via one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns in history.
Since its launch in 2015, the Flow Hive has inspired tens of thousands of new beekeepers around the world with over 65,000 Flow Hives shipped to 130 countries. Stu is pleased that Flow-based beekeeping is encouraging people to have a stronger connection with their environment.

Dr Julia Grassl

Dr Julia Grassl

Group Leader: Honey Bee Health Research Group

Dr Julia Grassl is a Molecular Biologist and Honey Bee Researcher in the School of Molecular Sciences at the University of Western Australia. Julia obtained a PhD h in Molecular Biology from Swansea University in the UK in 2007 and moved to Perth in 2009. As a group leader of the Honey Bee Health Research Group, her work now focusses on the impacts of genetic diversity, disease and nutrition on honey bee health.  Julia works closely with beekeepers to provide answers and tools for selecting disease tolerant bees, detecting diseases earlier and finding nutrition thresholds through the application of molecular techniques. Julia also holds the position of Program Leader for the CRC for Honey Bee Products working on honey bee health.

Dr Ken Walker

Dr Ken Walker

Senior Curator of Entomology at Museum Victoria

Dr Ken Walker has been the curator of entomology at Museum Victoria now for over 32 years. His research topic is the study of native Australian bees and has described several hundred new species and revised groups – particularly in the Halictinae and within the subgenera of Lasioglossum and Homalictus. Being a museum curator, Dr Walker’s other passion is making museum specimen information more accessible to the scientific and general public (now called Citizen Science). He has also created several significant website resources: Bioinformatics, Pests and Diseases Image Library (PaDIL) and BowerBird, being Australia’s first social science website dedicated to Citizen Science.

Dr Nural Cokcetin

Dr Nural Cokcetin

Research Fellow, The ithree Institute

Dr Nural Cokcetin is a research scientist specialising in microbiology at the ithree institute, University of Technology Sydney.
Her research focuses on the medicinal properties of honey. Currently, Nural is investigating the antimicrobial properties of honey, with a drive to use this knowledge to promote the use of honey as a topical treatment for skin infections and wounds, and to develop new treatments for infections caused by superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics.

Nural is equally passionate about doing research that has direct positive impacts for society, as she is about communicating her research to as broad an audience as possible.

Professor Madeleine Beekman

Professor Madeleine Beekman

Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW

Madeleine Beekman is a professor in Behavioural Ecology at the University of Sydney. Madeleine has always been fascinated by insects in general and social insects in particular. Madeleine completed her PhD at the University of Amsterdam on bumblebees. After finishing her PhD in 1998, she moved to the University of Sheffield, where she worked both on honeybees and ants, a ‘tradition’ she maintained after her move to the University of Sydney in 2001. Currently Madeleine’s main honeybee research interests are conflict and cooperation in honeybee colonies and the evolution of virulence of honeybee RNA viruses.

Dr Kymble Spriggs

Dr Kymble Spriggs

Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne

Dr Kymble Spriggs is a Consultant Physician, Specialist Allergist & Immunologist and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. Kymble offers an extensive background in the management of allergic & other immunological diseases, and is especially interested in hayfever, and bee venom immunotherapy, as well as the diagnosis & management of food allergy.

Vanessa Hoo

Vanessa Hoo

Mademoiselle Bee

Based in Adelaide, Vanessa Hoo AKA Mademoiselle Bee is a 2nd generation beekeeper and fervid advocate for bees, whose father is a French commercial apiarist.

She rescues our pollinators, by offering a diverse range of services around South Australia, from mentoring and education, to live bee removal, and adoption/sponsorship programs .


Ben Moore

Ben Moore

Ben's Bees

Ben Moore is an apiarist, environmentalist, father, food-lover and the owner of Ben’s Bees. Exposed to nature and farming from an early age, Ben started Ben’s Bees over ten years ago. Since then, his company has expanded to include beekeeping, honey production, the safe rehoming of bee colonies, wasp removal, international mentoring, media and education. Through these activities, Ben has built a passionate and loyal community of beekeepers from Australia and across the globe. With a focus on ethical and natural beekeeping practices, Ben is committed to educating the community about bees and their vital connection to the environment and our everyday lives.

Jessica Millar

Jessica Millar

Bee Biosecurity Officer Biosecurity, Agriculture Victoria

Based in Swan Hill, Jessica Millar is working to reduce the risk of disease entering beehives, by promoting ‘best practice biosecurity’ based on the Biosecurity Manual for Beekeepers, the Biosecurity Code of Practice and the National Bee Biosecurity Program.

Jessica works closely with Agriculture Victoria’s other apiary inspectors, she monitors and detects endemic pests and disease such as American Foul Brood (AFB) via field surveillance.


Benedict Hughes

Benedict Hughes

The Practical Beekeeper

Benedict is a well-known registered Beekeeper; as The Practical Beekeeper he collects swarms, manages hives, extracts honey, teaches and loves bees.

Benedict is the resident Beekeeper at Ceres (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) and is approved by the City of Darebin to keep bees in Darebin Parklands and Bundoora Park.

Benedict regularly runs school incursions about bees and beekeeping, he also delivers adult educational courses at Melbourne Polytechnic and CERES in Brunswick as well as at Edendale Community Environment Farm in Eltham.

Corinne Jordan

Corinne Jordan

The Bee Lady Apiaries

Corinne’s obsession with bees commenced in South East Queensland 2008 with the founding of The Bee Lady Apiaries.

Since 2013 Corinne has been striving to improve Australia’s honey bee stocks by instrumental insemination and continued selection and evaluation. Her key focus is enhancing the productivity, health and vitality of Apis mellifera ligustica commonly known as the Italian or Yellow Queen Bee whilst preserving the gentle temperament.

Corinne is a passionate bee advocate and her presentation will draw from  personal experience as a Commercial Honeybee Breeder.

Dr Liz Barbour

Dr Liz Barbour

CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Honey Bee Products

Dr Barbour is presently the CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products, a federally and industry funded research program with the aim of adding value to the honey bee product industry.

Her research background is in tree crops, domesticating them for product development through tree breeding, trial assessment and asexual and sexual propagation. She has worked in industry, State Government and within the University system and in Australia has been awarded RIRDC, NHT, ARC Linkage and ACIAR funding as well as under taken consultancies.

Pre-Conference Friday Dinner


You are invited to join Keynote Conference Speakers to celebrate the 2nd Victorian Beekeeping Clubs Conference on Friday 14th June, 7pm-10pm at Hyatt Place: 1 English St, Essendon Fields. The dinner is shaping up to be an exciting event with guest speaker Alanta Colley. 

Time: Friday 14th June 2019 at 7:00pm

Cost: $85.00

Bookings: Available with Conference ticketing

Alanta Colley

Alanta Colley

Science Communicator, Comedian & Public Health Practitioner

Alanta is a science communicator and comedian, and has performed her solo science comedy shows ‘Parasites Lost’ and ‘Days of our Hives’ across Australia and also for the Gates Foundation in Seattle.

Alanta has a Masters in International Public Health, and has worked with the UN in Cambodia, and local clinics in Timor Leste, Kenya and Uganda. She’s also run village level health initiatives in Uganda, focussed on HIV and malaria education, testing and prevention.

Important details


Hyatt Place Melbourne, Essendon Fields:
1 English St, Essendon Fields VIC 3041


Saturday 15th June 2019
8:30am – 5:00pm


$125.00 per person (Early Bird and Youth tickets)
$155.00 per person (after March 15th 2019)


  • Morning and Afternoon Tea
  • Lunch
  • Trade Exhibitors
  • A bumper Conference offering keynote speakers in plenary sessions, as well as three parallel beekeeping streams.
  • Conference Showbag
Registration and refreshments from 8.00am.
Conference commences at 8:30am and concludes at 5pm. Post Conference drinks from 5pm to 7pm.

Conference Program Schedule (subject to change)
8:00-8:30  REGO Registration, Tea & Coffee
8:30- 8:45 INTRO Costa Georgiadis / The Beekeepers Club Inc
8:45-9:30 KEYNOTE 1 Professor Ben Oldroyd, University of Sydney, Honey Bee mating biology: where, when, and why so often?
9:30- 9:40 AHBIC                                                                  VRBA
9:40- 10:25 KEYNOTE 2 Hilary Kearney (Girl Next Door Honey USA), Broadcasting your beeswax, The business of storytelling.
10:25- 11:00 MORNING
Browse the trade stalls & displays
11:00- 11:45 Dr Julia Grassl, Are drones the missing link in colony losses? Dr Ken Walker, Australian Native Bees

Dr Kymble Spriggs, Anaphylaxis            ///////////////////////

Jessica Hartland, Ag Victoria

11:50- 12:35 Dr Nural Cokcetin, The bioactive Properties of Honey – using honey to kill superbugs and promote gut health

Benedict Hughes, The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen


Corrine Jordan, Selection and Evaluation of a Breeder Queen 

Dr Liz Barbour, Honey Bee product research to inform your beekeeping
12:35- 1:30 LUNCH Browse the trade stalls & displays
1:30- 2:15 Costa Georgiadis, Planting for Bees, creating a Bee Friendly Garden Professor Madeleine Beekman, What to expect when bees get Varroa and how Deformed Wing Virus might or might not interact Vanessa Hoo, Beekeepers Common Mistakes
2:20- 3:05 Peter Marendy CSIRO, Bees with Backpacks Stuart Anderson, Beekeepers as Environmental Advocates Ben Moore, Beekeeping Around the World
3:05- 3:30 AFTERNOON TEA Browse the trade stalls & displays
3:30- 4:15 KEYNOTE 3 Dr Amy Gilpin, The Effect of Climate change on pollination and pollinators and implications for beekeepers
4:15- 5:00 CLOSING RAFFLES         Q & A Panel
5:00- 6:00   Networking & Refreshments

Registrations are now closed

Have questions or feedback,
please email


Conference location

Hyatt Place Melbourne: 1 English St, Essendon Fields VIC 3041

2019 Host club

The Beekeepers Club Inc

The Beekeepers Club is based in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and supports beekeepers and beekeeping with training courses, information sharing and mentoring. 

Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7:30pm at their venue in Blackburn North. Regular beginners and advanced courses providing hands on experience are held at the club apiary in Heidelberg.

Our sponsors

Major Sponsor

Moonee Valley City Council

This initiative is proudly supported by Moonee Valley City Council through its biannual grants program.

Gold partners

Agriculture Victoria - AIAC

‘Funded by the Victorian Honey Bee Compensation and Industry Development Fund’.

The Conference Organising Committee is thankful for a grant secured to help us fund this event for all Recreational Beekeepers in Victoria for 2019.


Bec's Beehive

Becs BeeHive Beekeeping Supplies & Training offers premium solutions for all Australian Beekeepers; whether you are a newbee hobbyist or an experienced sideliner we have something for you.  

Feel welcome to visit us and join our community at www.becsbeehive.com.au  and yes we also ship Australia Wide.  We can’t wait to meet & support you with your beekeeping adventure.  

Junkies Magazine

Junkies is an eco-design, fashion and lifestyle magazine focused on rethinking, reusing, reducingand recycling.

We are reclaiming the Junkie idea and want to see a revolution of the thoughtful, inspiring and gorgeously creative.

Silver partners

Rooftop Honey

Since 2010 they’ve been flying the flag for bees in Melbourne.

Rooftop Honey are Beekeepers with a vision of bringing bees back to the city and the suburbs of Melbourne. The aim is to be part a global effort to help save the honey bee from the various threats of disease and human habitation.

Ballarat Regional Beekeepers Inc

Ballarat Regional Beekeepers Inc. meets monthly, to share interest in, and knowledge about beekeeping

Their members are passionate about beekeeping, honey, environmental sustainability and education, and networking with other people who share an enthusiasm for everything “bees”.

The focus in the group is to support each other in beekeeping, and to provide education and ‘hands on’ learning opportunities.

Bronze partners

The Australian Manuka Honey Association

The Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) is the leading national body for the production and promotion of Manuka honey in Australia.

Ballarat Beekeeping Supplies

We stock supplies for the Backyard Beekeeper specialising in Australian made or designed beekeeping merchandise. You can find us at 306 Errard Street South, Ballarat Central. 


For almost 40 years, Steritech has been the treatment provider of choice within industries that require sterilisation and decontamination.


Victorian Apiarists' Association

Whether you are a hobbyist beekeeper with one hive in the backyard, a semi-commercial beekeeper wishing to take the next step towards becoming fully financially dependent on beekeeping, or a full time commercial beekeeper – we can help you. 


Trade & Displays

Agriculture Vic

Friends of the Conference

Conference registrations are now closed

Have questions or feedback,
please email

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