The October Issue marked a change in the format of The ABK, with the addition of 4 pages (moving from 44 to 48 pages), all in colour (making 20 pages of colour in the centre compared to the previous 16 pages). It has been decided to continue with the new size for at least the next 12 months.
Some of the extra space will be taken up by colour advertising, but overall the move has been determined by the wish to maintain a healthy balance between the amount of advertising and the amount of article-based content. This is in line with the ‘Mission Statement’ written by WS Pender in 1899, which said (in part) We will endeavour to make the Journal as practical as possible, and with the assistance of beekeepers, will make it a valuable help to all keeping bees. We do not wish it to be our paper, but the beekeepers’ paper, where we hope to see a mutual exchange of thought among beekeepers of Australasia and all get assistance from it.
It is interesting sitting on the side of the written word - the advertising often reflects the beekeeping season. There has recently been a surge in interest from ‘smaller’ honey packers seeking to purchase honey. This might reflect increasing entry into the world of packing; this season it is more a reflection of the lack of availability of honey, and more competition to obtain some of what is available - worrying in that it indicates little honey in stock, and probably not much on the horizon.
Advertising from queen breeders/producers also varies seasonally, and there has recently been evidence of more beekeepers becoming interested in this area. Raising queens is one of the more fascinating aspects of beekeeping. With the ever-present threat of Varroa entering Australia, the more beekeepers that can be involved in breeding, the better; it is the ability to breed Varroa-tolerant/resistant stocks that will enable our Australian industry to survive with a minimal use of chemicals should Varroa ever make its presence felt.
Author: Des Cannon