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Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Friday, November 1, 2019

all abuzz with bees

It appears that my hubby Phil is coming around to my way of thinking. Slowly but surely he is showing signs of becoming a more caring person with regards to the environment. This leads me into his next venture and that is of bees.

He had mentioned to me previously about getting bees, but it was something that never seemed to happen.  Then all of a sudden it was back on the agenda after hearing that a couple of his work mates had hives.

So for the past couple of weeks he has been gathering bits and pieces together to start bee keeping.

First on the list was a bee suit. The most important part, if you don't want to get stung.



The old dog bed frame and a couple of old pallets came in handy for making a stand for the hives to sit on. 


Another mate had a spare one of these and gifted it to Phil.


Next up was the bee hive or boxes. He ordered them and they were delivered by post.



Frames put together.


Here Phil is adding the bee frame wire. He borrowed his mates "gadget" to do this.



Assembly complete.



Painting everything white.




He ordered a cute little roof to go on the hive.



Then he decided to make another bottom just like the purchased one, so he could divide the hive into two.



Last Sunday morning I went with hubby over to his mates place as he was doing a hive check and wanted to show Phil how he does it.


 I kept a safe distance away.



Happy to report that there were no stings.



Then in the afternoon we hopped in the car and headed towards Angaston, about a three hour drive from home.



We arrived at about 4.30pm, found the motel we were staying at for the night and then went for a drive around. We had not visited this area before, and I was amazed at the greenery and the roses! Oh my, the roses were all out in bloom everywhere. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of them. I try to grow roses but they struggle in my front garden, so I may look at relocating them next year, even if I put them in large pots so I can take better care of them.

A bit later we went out to find something to eat for tea then looked around some more. We found this lookout and the views from the top were breath taking, quite different from the scenery I am use to. These photos aren't great as I had left my camera in the motel room, so just taken on my mobile phone. Plus it was just on sundown.






First thing Monday morning, we set out for Jembella farm, a couple of minutes down the road. I am sure a lot of you will recognise this place. Sally has a blog and she also has bees, and we were here to collect two nuc colonies to bring home.

After a coffee, chat and quick tour we loaded our bees and were on our way. I really love how Sally and Brian have set up their place.  I came home with fresh ideas and much needed enthusiasm. 



And we also came away with some delicious honey!



Another three hour drive and we were home. The bees survived the trip and were quite eager to get out of their boxes.  Lucky they didn't escape on our way home, because as the following picture shows, they were working on it haha!



Here they are placed ready to be put into our hives. Phil was a bit nervous so he made a phone call to his "bee" mate to come over to help.

















And the job is done, with no stings thank goodness!


We have had to add more shade for the bees as the weather has been hot this week. The tree shade just wasn't enough.



The bees have settled in and are busy doing their thing. We are a bit concerned about pollen and nectar sources so are looking at ways to increase what we have here. We have purchased a couple of suitable gum trees and will be incorporating more flowers via herbs etc to cater to their needs. I decided that the back lawn will go to get this happening.  While the lawn does provide some greenery, it is  useless and takes water to keep it green. I have leftover raised beds that can be used and made into wicking beds, so once the weather cools down, I will get started.

On Tuesday a contractor was going along our road spraying weeds with glysophate (man I hate that stuff). Hubby had a fit when he saw him from the train and promptly rang the council, they in turn rang the contractor to tell him to stay away from our block.  The girl at the council was very understanding as to why we didn't want the poison near here. She said, we need bees ~ smiles.

I think it is time to get a no spray sign made up.

And to finish with a little clip of our bees drinking from the bird bath out the front. I gave it a good clean and placed fresh water in the bowl. I have increased the water sources all around the block so the bees can get a drink when needed. It is so good to hear the buzz of bees everywhere I go now.


Today was a horrid day. Hot, windy and dirty just like real drought weather. Phil went over to check on his bees and received his first bee sting! He got too close and I think they were cranky with the weather haha! At least he found out that he is not allergic!

Late in the day the cool change arrived and we had one shower of rain, but nothing since. It wasn't even enough to register in the rain gauge. Hopefully we get a bit more overnight or tomorrow, as it is so dry.

See you soon,

xTania










24 comments:

  1. I enjoyed bees when I had them, but that was years ago.

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    Replies
    1. Bees are fun, we are loving having them around.

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  2. How wonderful to have bees at your place now, Tania. I think bees are fascinating! Bees need all the help they can get too so keeping bees in our backyards, growing food sources in our gardens for them and keeping toxic poisons away are all so important. I can't stand to see Glysophate sprayed anywhere either; makes my blood boil too. I like the idea of a No Spray sign and think I will make one for our place too. Happy beekeeping! Meg:)

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    1. I think a sign out the front should work just in case we aren't around when the weed sprayer goes past.

      Keeping bees should be something that more people do if they are able. They are so good for many things including pollination, and I cant wait to see the benefits they bring.

      xTania

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  3. OH, I so hope the bees do well. It looks like they have fine accommodations! Chemical spraying by our country road department is one of my biggest gripes. Every spring they begin to spray just about the time the red clover is starting to bloom. I can't even imagine how many of our little wild critters, including bees, are affected by that nasty practice.

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    Replies
    1. And this is why the bees and other critters all over the world are under threat. The powers that be need to realise the damage they are doing. No bees, no me.

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  4. How exciting getting hive and bees....I would be scared of all those bees. It's great your husband has friends to help him out so he can get more confident. Can't wait to see your jars of honey.

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    1. It is exciting Kathy. I thought I would be scared too, but they are quite calm little creatures and if you stay calm, all is good. They only sting when under threat, just like snakes bite when threatened. I am quite happy to live with them both :)

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  5. I don't know if you're getting it up there but it poured all night in Adelaide and just started
    again. Hopefully you'll have some - we have and we're normally in some kind of weird rain shadow
    where we live!

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    1. We had 9mm overnight Barbara. Not a great deal, but better than nothing. After the shocking dust and wind yesterday, it was so good to hear the rain falling.

      Lucky you living in a rain shadow, we miss out most times. We watch it go on past us and head down your way.

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  6. How nice!
    I recently read a post by Pauline at Happy Retirees Kitchen about how they extracted honey from theirs bees for the first time.

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    Replies
    1. I will have to take a look at Pauline's post. Thank you Nil xxx

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  7. How exciting to catch up with Sally. I am sure you will love keeping bees even though it is so dry. I try to keep some flowers alive for the bees as the drought is dire up here in Queensland.

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    1. It was great to finally meet Sally. And she is just lovely, and so very helpful with advice.

      Dry here too most times Nanna Chel, so I plan on planting more plants for the bees :)

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  8. Our council has a 'spray register" and we are on it. It means they must notify us if they want to spray within 200 m of our house. I am impressed with all those who keep bees, and like you we have no lawn.

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    Replies
    1. That is a great tip, I will ring our council and see if they offer the same option. At the moment we still have too small areas of lawn, although one is not doing well, but we are going to replace them with plants for the bees instead xxx

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  9. What a wonderful treat, to meet Sally at Jembella Farm, and see their place. I think I'd come home with a bunch of ideas too. I really hope the bees become permanent residents. It's so hard for them, with a less stable climate and food supply. I think Ironbark makes the best honey though! Between yellowbox and ironbark, the latter is my fav. So getting some eucalyptus trees, is not only great for the bees, but also great flavour for the honey. :) Oh, and good on your husband, for taking something new on.

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    1. I am worried how the bees will cope Chris. There are a lot of trees etc in the vicinity of our block, so I am hopeful they will find enough.

      We are going to get some insulated hives as we are concerned about the heat that might come in January. We have two small lawn areas and I am going to replace one with eremophila's and ground covers and the other with garden beds of herbs and plants that the bees will love. We will be also planting as many trees as we can. It may take a bit of water to establish them but I think it is something we need to do. I have put some moringa tree seeds in pots hoping they come up as they are such a fast growing tree, and apparently the flowers are loved by bees. I am also going to plant out pigeon pea seeds this week. I will go and visit our local arid lands botanic garden tomorrow and see what plants I can pick up. The grow and sell them there.

      We may go back to Jembella farm and do one of the bee workshops they put on. The more information we know the better off the bees will be. We have already learned so much we didn't know :)

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  10. How exciting! You two are so industrious. I have lots of bees, here, too. They love the wild sunflowers, squash blossoms, and fruit trees. Hollyhocks are another of their favorites, and they do well in the heat.

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    1. It is exciting Stephenie! I am loving having lots of bees around, the plants are going to love them too. I am going to organise more flowers for them, thank you for sharing what your bees like. I have some hollyhock seeds here somewhere, will chase them up today xxx

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  11. Ha, I love that you called the hives B1 & B2! :)

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    1. Haha Joolz! Phil's wacky sense of humour!

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  12. One of the most satisfying life moments was pouring off my first batch of honey after extracting it all by myself! Magic moment that I will never forget. Seeing the world through bees perspective makes you far more observant and caring of our environment.
    All the best with the bees and new garden plans,
    Kate

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  13. Thank you Kate.

    We are eager to get our first lot of honey. The bees have been very busy and we can smell the delicious smell of honey coming from the hives.

    We are encouraging others around us to get bees, the more interest the better, for the bees and the world :)

    xTania

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