Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Once again, the swarm had landed right at eye level and were very easy to capture. This time I used a large drawstring bag that air could circulate through but bees couldn`t get out, put the bag`s wide mouth under the bottom of the swarm, pulled the bag up to enclose all the bees and shook the small tree hard - with that, most of the bees fell into the bag, I pulled the drawstring closed, after waiting for the few hanger-ons to re-group, shook them in and away we went.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Summer in NZ means long hot days, pohutukawa trees in bloom all along the coast and inland as well - the early settlers called it the NZ Christmas tree - it is spectacular and always full of humming bees and nectar loving birds.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Farmers will appreciate that posts and wire offer little to bees and the practice of denuding the countryside of trees, gorse and broom has threatened the health of bees.
The Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group is producing brochures, by region, which make suggestions about what you can plant throughout your farm and along the riparian margins in order to support bee health. The brochure will also include what plants and trees by region are banned by regional councils and highlight those which the bee industry do not want to see planted, including Tutin.
Sustainable farming encourages natural pollination. The honey bee is responsible for over 80 percent of all pollination and relies on programmes such as these.
The regional brochures can be downloaded by clicking here. The national programme brochure is available below. Trees for Bees Programme (536kB) Thanks to Federated Farmers website
I have just included this article in the monthly news letter I write for the Waikato Domestic Beekeepers Assc and thought it may be of interest to my blog readers. Even though we have different seasons and alot of the trees are NZ natives, many can be brought in the UK, not sure about the States.
I am just delighted to see more NZ `s getting involved and informed about the importance of bees, especially those in rural areas where there is the need for more planting of bee food.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The Gardens are the perfect place for these sorts of occasions, during the summer festival there are plays, shows, music of all sorts and general good fun.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On a bright sunny evening last Sunday, my friend and I captured this beautiful swarm hanging in a very convenient place under the grape leaves on a neighbours` vine - it was just about to easy to get, I half expected them to turn ferel and sting me !! They didn`t, and it was a super swarm to catch.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The bees don`t seem to have a problem with the 2 round holes as entrance ways, they actually line them up, the guard bees also manage to do their job sucessfully. I have been reading Phil Chandlers book, `The Barefoot Beekeeper` every night, it is such an interesting read. having my own TB makes it all the more fascinating, it is easy to read and makes so much sense I can`t believe no one else has ever come up with the idea !! TB hives are not a new thing, but I don`t know anyone else here who has heard of them let alone wants to try one - I am going to change all that !
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
One corner of the Italian Garden, another of the Paradise gardens at www.hamiltongardens.co.nz with a selection of potted citrus trees, covered in flowers all spring and summer . Each quarter of the garden has different Mediterranean plants growing, herbs, roses,annuals etc with large citrus in each corner.
The plants are all grown at the Council nursery which also supplies the plants for all the road side and roundabout plantings, Hamilton is known for its` displays of fantastic public gardens and trees. We have a beautiful city, with a river running through it and also a small lake which has alot of sail boating and rowing on it and people just enjoying the scenery.
The garden is divided in the traditional ancient Persian garden design, always having water and moats that point to the 4 directions, there is a lotus shaped fountain in the middle with a stage affair to relax in - an oasis of calm. The Waikato river runs behind the gardens and can be seen from the raised stage at the back of the garden.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
On this stunning spring day down here in the pacific ocean, in these islands I love,( sorry for sounding so mushy, but I feel a strong attachment to my homeland, must be cause I feel so ok within me, and the fact that it is a superb country to live in) I decided to take a quick look into the TopBar hive that 2 weeks ago I had installed a swarm of honey bees. I must admit, I was a tad nervous about what I was going to see - I shouldn`t have been, these industrious little insects have started to build comb, beautiful, golden comb at the far end of the hive, just where Phil C says in his book, that they will. Also festooning on other bars with the bars at the end where the 2 entrance holes are are still bare - I am sure that will change in a month or so.They are making a brood nest for their queen to lay in, I will have a longer and more detailed look in another couple of weeks, hopefully will see signs of baby bees happening !
I was also thrilled with the fact that I didn`t need my smoker, I always have trouble with the thing staying smoking ( I use untreated cedar shavings which smell divine and always go well for my friend), the bees didn`t seem to get upset at all, as I was working down the far end I had a look at the end where the entrances are, and they were just busy coming and going as usual. The rest of the hive stays dark and warm as only 2 or 3 bars are out at a time, not even that many today ! It really does make sense to work like this, I guess there will be times when everything turns to custard, but for my first experience it couldn`t have been better - at last I can really get my teeth into this project, now I just have to convince my 2yr old grandson, Elliott, that bees don`t fly into your ears - where he has got that from I don`t know, he hates the buzzing sound, I think he might have super hearing powers !!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Ellena is going to Victoria University in Wellington next year, about 7 hours drive south from where we live. I am so excited for her and sad for me, it is a real new life challange for us both. She was the 4th child I so desperately wanted after loosing a number of babies between her eldest sister Meg, her brother Cameron and sister Phillippa - there is 9 yrs between Ellena and Pip. I didn`t plan on the big gaps but thats how it turned out. I have never regretted having my late baby, although at 38 I was a tad to old I think - took me years to catch up on sleep and I was always the oldest Mum at kindy and school !! She has been a delight all along, is adored by her sibblings and probably abit spoilt but she has grown into a beautiful young woman and tomorrow we will celebrate as a family at her brothers place by the ocean.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
During the last week I took afew days off work, badly needed I might add, spending a night and 2 days out at my `happy place` Raglan-by-the-sea or Whaingaroa as it is rightly named. My eldest daughter, Meg and her daughter Lia live out there, on the side of a hill over-looking the harbour and out to the heads - a fairly dangerous bar. Meg had taken students to Wellington to see the Wearable Arts show, which I might add, is an amazing night, Lia was at her Dad`s and I had the house to me !! oh, and the crazy cat and noisy finch ..
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Last evening Ellena and I went out for dinner - to a hangi - what is a hangi you are thinking ??
It is a meal cooked under the ground in a pit with stones that are heated to a high temperature by fire, then the fire is put out, the food in wire baskets is put on top of the stones and the whole lot covered in cloth and then the soil from the pit - left to cook in the steam all afternoon.
The last layer of cloth is sacking which is very good at keeping the heat in - the smell by this stage is something else.
The veges are wrapped in tin foil