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Archive for September, 2010

Feral Bees Fly By

Hive Box New Home for Swarm!

Interesting weekend in the backyard.  We had our first warm spring day on Saturday and the temperature shot up to 20 degrees Celsius – lovely!  All of a sudden the backyard was a swirling sea of bees.  The air was think with bees for about an hour and then the wild swarm settled in a large ball on the jasmine vine on our back fence. This is the second wild swarm that we have attracted to our backyard in the last two years.  The sound of a swarm of bees is flight is truly deafening, more like the roar of jet engines than a gentle hum – amazing!

I called a ‘Swarm Collection’ beekeeper from the Southside Beekeepers and she arrived very quickly to start collecting the bees.  Now I wish I had taken photos of this process but it was too exciting to even think about tearing my eyeballs away for a moment.  I even suited up myself to help (I held the cardboard box)!

Essentially the beekeeper used a large soft brush called a ‘Bee Brush’ to sweep the bees off the vine and into a large cardboard box.  Once the bees were in the box they were gently transfered to a hive box (see photo). We actually saw the Queen Bee slide into the hive and once she was installed any bees still in flight started to move towards the hive box.  The bees that had settled on the pale-pink-sheet we had laid on the ground under the swarm all turned around and formed neat cues to crawl up the sheet into the hive door – strangest thing I’ve ever seen.

By dusk on Sunday all the bees had settled in the hive.  The beekeeper then taped the box closed after giving the bees two hive frames of honey (food and water).  The bees were then on their way to a new permanent home with a backyard vegie grower only a few suburbs away from me.

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I was surfing around You tube and found this fabulous program – Landshare.  The idea behind the English Landshare program is that people with land to spare donate space to people who want to grow their own vegetables.  The program seems to be thriving.

I take my hat off to the Landshare program so simple and such fabulous community building outcomes – genius.

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