Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Korimako (Bellbirds) in Hamilton Again . .

Precious cargo, 12 adult Korimako or native NZ bellbird being carried into Te Parapara Maori garden, Hamilton Gardens, 2 weeks ago, to be released into our city environment after an absence of 100 yrs ! The birds were mist caught on TiriTiri Matangi and other areas north of Auckland where they have flourished in predator free sancturies - I truly hope they will flourish here again.
The 2 people mostly concerned with this project, John Innes (Landcare Research, and a young chap from the University of Waikato carried the box onto the garden, welcomed by a kuia from the local iwi, Ngati Waiwere. It always sends shivers up my spine when I hear the haunting call that can either welcome or send-off a being onto a marae or sacred place by these women.
A prayer from the kuia to send them on their way, these native birds once were everywhere throughout the Waikato, but with loss of habitat and introduced predators, they survive only in 2 or 3 isolated bush areas.
aThere were alot of people including children at the Gardens to watch this historic event, it is heartening to see the number of keen conservationists gathered together and so interested. I am very proud of my city for having the foresight to replant and repopulate.
A beautiful male Korimako with his olive green plumage, the female is not quite as green. Their song is truely amazing, check out any NZ bird site and find a recording, sorry, i`m lazy and haven`t done it for you.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

TopBar Beekeeping Workshop.

My TopBar hive with the roof off and me unsticking the bars , I didn`t get to into it as it was windy and the bees started to get grumpy - I managed to pull acouple of bars up and everyone got a quick glimpse of wax comb.
This is my first TopBar workshop, held today at my home. I am so excited at how well it all went, even with thunderstorms occasionally ! Everyone was very keen to learn about the TB and beekeeping with no one having seen this type of hive before. I was lucky enought to have a spare empty hive to show them the insides and just how it all works.
I had put together a folder of information I felt they needed to know, we talked about Langstroth hives also and they were able to compare the 2 with my Lang full of busy bees to.
In between heavy showers we ventured out to check out the hives

The observation window was a hit with everyone, the bees having built comb on the inside. My next hive is going to have a much longer window so it will be possible to really get a good look inside the hive.