We returned from holidays to discover to our surprise and excitement that there was an active beehive on one of our palm trees in the backyard. A couple of years ago Mr. HRK built a bird box hoping to attract some nesting birds. Well they haven't take up his offer, preferring to nest in our large Paperbark tree and the Golden Penda tree, however a swarm of European honey bees have moved in, with presumably the Queen Bee happily ensconced in her new home, and the hive surrounding the Bird box continues to grow. There is probably quite a lot of honey inside already. So we are now sharing our environment with these beautiful, industrious and fragile creatures which we know little about. Bees in Australia are among the most disease free in the world, however they still face many threats.
With all of this in mind we have slept on our situation for a couple of weeks now, wondering if we should just leave the hive there so that the bees will fertilise our garden plants and improve our environment, or move them to a hive where we can protect them a lot better and can also enjoy the honey they produce. The risk is that the hive will outgrow our bird box and the bees will move on. We have decided to try and move the bees to a proper hive. After talking to a couple of local apiarists, Mr. HRK is now building two wooden beehive boxes based on the measurements of one he has borrowed, as strangely all the measurements available for building your own beehive are in imperial.
So the bee hive boxes are almost built, and the next stage before the next deluge of rain comes is to move our hive to one of the newly constructed beehive boxes. We will need to order a second Queen bee and have her delivered in the post in a capsule to start the second hive. If you watched Catalyst, about the Great Australian Bee Challenge competition on the ABC, you might remember that one of the families also needed to do that. So we are busily collecting information, reading all we can about the process, so watch this space. It's an exciting thought to have two beehives in our suburban garden. By all accounts, the bees thrive better in suburban gardens than in the bush, because there are always flowers in suburban gardens, whereas during the dry conditions or heavy rain in the bush there may be nothing flowering for them to feed on.
The second episode of our beehive story is in progress and I hope to tell you about it soon. Life is never dull in our backyard. Moving beehives a metre at a time is a story in itself and ours is no different. That is the next story to be told.
Gordon, our wise gnome, and a Christmas present from our daughter, is keeping an eye on the situation.
Here a couple of ideas for delicious Summer salads. These were made by Paul, a good food loving friend of ours. He just possesses the knack on how to prepare an attractive salad.
More garden news. Recently our Golden Penda was flowering and the visiting Lorikeets put on a quite a show at our nearby watering hole. They didn't seem to mind that it was just water in there, and they were so noisy and possessive of the bird bath.
Thanks very much to those of you who have sent well wishes already about my mouth surgery. I survived 2 hours of sitting in a comfortable dental chair, in hospital surgery conditions, but saved myself $2,000 by not having it done in a hospital operating room.The dental surgeon and the dental assistants were so caring and attentive. Today I am recuperating with a swollen face, no more bleeding, but not much pain thanks to some medication, so I think it went well. I'll make the most of having a sickie today:) Mr. HRK is being very attentive and cooked delicious scrambled eggs for brekkie. I am still on soft foods, and am looking forward to the ice cream for dessert.
Take care everyone,