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Life on two acres of arid dirt, on the edge of the Australian outback.

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,