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Drought and bees

Eastern Australia is experiencing another drought. Droughts are normal and are becoming more frequent. This drought is one of the worst in several decades. 100% of New South Wales has been declared in a drought. Many farmers struggle through droughts, doing whatever it takes to survive until the rains come. Lots of awareness is raised about livestock and produce farmers. The obvious farmers running sheep, cattle, grain and vegetable farms. These make news headlines because farms that were once green pastures are now brown dustbowls. Such images invoke emotion and sell news. Beekeepers are farmers too. Beekeepers raise bees to produce food (honey), bees (for pollination and to sell to hobby beekeepers) and to sell the raw materials bees produce (wax and propolis). We are also hard hit by droughts. This article looks at how the drought affects beekeepers.

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Bee Friendly Gardens – Lavender

Lavender is a wonderful, hardy plant. It is an evergreen shrub that produces vibrant purple, off-white, violet or pink flowers depending on the variety. Lavender is very aromatic and brushing the leaves produces strong, fragrant scent. Lavender flowers are a magnet for bees. Lavender can compliment other plants in a garden or be planted in a pot when you don’t have much room. It can also be planted in rows to create an informal hedge along a driveway or garden path.

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Winter wrap 2018

This post briefly describes our 2018 winter successes and failures. 

We started winter with eight hives (our top bar hive, one single deep wooden hive, one single deep plastic hive, four double deep EPS foam hives and one triple deep EPS foam hive). Our goal was to over-winter five or more hives. We reached our target and managed to get seven hives through until spring. Only our own feeding mistake prevented us from a 100% over-wintering success rate.

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Bees in Italy

This blog details a day I spent exploring an apiary and eating fresh produce on an island less than forty minutes ferry ride from Venice, Italy.

A short ferry ride away from the millions of tourists that flock to Venice sits Sant’ Erasmo, an island just 3.26 square kilometers in size. The island is known as ‘The Garden of Venice’. Locals grow exceptional produce on the island including artichoke, wine and honey.

*Update: As of January 2019 Miele del Doge have their website up and running. Click here to visit their site. We found using a mobile to view the site gives us an option to switch to an English mode.*

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With the ban on plastic bags in supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths starting this week this is a timely article about a solitary bee who’s nesting materials could be reverse-engineered to create a biodegradable alternative to plastic.

This humble Australian bee is helping to disrupt the plastics industry

An article by Esther Han on 10/6/18.

While the title refers to an Australia bee the research is being conducted by New Zealand woman Veronica Harwood-Stevenson.

 

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