Check your hives regularly!

Today’s article is a timely reminder to check your hives regularly – even when it’s over 35 degrees Celsius outside for 4 weeks in a row. Stick to your calendar of when to check and find a way to get it done or your procrastinating and the bees could make life hard.

Unfortunately I work my hives alone more often than not. As such, I have no photos of this experience but for any beekeeper out there, I’m sure you can imagine the kind of sticky situation I got myself into.

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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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