Hard to believe our good fortune sometimes!! Mike always says: "Careful of what you want, you might just get it!!" The Law of Attraction! We have always wanted to have bee hives in our small backyard. We even signed up for a course to learn how to care for them. Mike read a book on bees, and how us humans would survive something like 5 years before we died out, if we lost all of our bees! That's how important they are to our survival! Think about it - our fruit, our veggies - all pollinated by mostly bees!
|Mesh protects the entrance from wasp invasion.|
Sadly, after our Bee Keeping course, we decided we just did not have the TIME it took to care for the little critters, while working, growing our food and maintaining home and garden. I approached 2 local bee-keepers, offering them the chance of placing bee hives in our bee-wonderland-backyard. Not interested at all. The guy who ran the bee-keeping course said he could place some hives in our garden, but we waited several months and nothing happened. We called. He said he would come. We waited. Still nothing happened and a year went by. So we shelved the idea. Until I recently read in the newspaper that a beekeeper was asking for space to place his hives. I eagerly rang up and offered our backyard. The beekeeper's wife, Alison, promised they would come to have a look. I waited eagerly, but tried not to get my hopes up this time. They came. 2 weeks later, Barry brought 2 hives. We were so excited, we could barely contain ourselves. We watched with bated breathe as he opened the hives and the first little buzzy guys emerged. Barry wore no protective gear and assured us they would be happy for us to walk passed.
|These little girls come and go at such speed, it is tiring just to watch them!|
Barry and Alison pop by every now and then just to feed the hives and check on them. I LOVE having bees, with their own keeper. No hassle, no fuss, just busy little bees pollinating everything within a 5km radius! And we get to be part of the solution to the plight of the bees - we use no poisons in our garden, so these busy-bodies are safe to gather pollen and do what bees do - keep their colony healthy and safe.
|The sign I painted to welcome the bees to our backyard. Sweet as Honey!|
So the bees are happy. We are ecstatic, and the garden is humming! The bees are placed on the southern side of the property, next to the compost bin.
|Barry and Mike tend the bees. Barry wears full protective suit. Mike not!|
Not only is our garden buzzing with bees, but we have several Swan Plants (milkweed), self-seeded. That means an abundance of Monarch butterflies, caterpillars (they only eat the milkweed, so are not a threat to human food production) and jewel-like chrysalises. I recently found a butterfly on our driveway and rescued it. It was a new hatch-ling, I was able to examine it and photograph it.
|A rescued chrysalis cellotaped to our light chord.|
We will enjoy watching it emerge.
|Beautiful Butterfly. Purerehua in Maori.|
|I put this pretty lady in our olive tree where she hung around for 2 days!|
I have this theory I'm putting to the test; I have been talking or singing to the bees every time I go to the compost bin. I hope they get to recognize the sound of my voice and know I am not a threat to them. We shall see...... But anyway, if I get stung, I believe it provides a good boost to the immune system!
And Stop the Press:
Since the beginning of our Term 2, I have begun a job-share position with a lovely lady at kindergarten, who embodies all that I hold dear - sustainable education. What this means, is that I get to work one week on at the kindergarten and one week off. This is the second of my off-weeks, and I have been just as busy as those bees - pruning, mulching and weeding! I am taking back the garden - it had been taken over by an Overgrown Weed Giant, who didn't allow much sunshine in at all. I can begin to see the sunshine now.........
|Bees mean more persimmon next year!! Yay! Sun-fruit! Note the radiating lines like the sun a child draws.|