Saturday, October 19, 2013


I used to be scared of bees. If one flew near me, I would freeze and stop breathing until it had gone. Nowadays I see bees as friends, useful little insect friends with a very important job to do, and I love their presence in our garden. We have a lot of bees here, but the next step for us was installing our own hive, so that we could collect honey from it, another thing that we will no longer have to buy. As we use honey instead of sugar in our family, it seemed like a sensible thing to do.

We've been on the wait list for bees for a few months now, and yesterday, we got the call. So Nath and Brannen drove down the hill to collect our very own bees, a buzzing, humming closed hive of activity. The entrance to the hive was obviously blocked so they wouldn't escape during transit, but you could see their busy little legs and wings in the tiny holes in the hive 'gate', desperately trying to get out.

 Nath placed the hive in our chosen spot, under the grevillea bush in the otherwise unused pool area. It's a great spot - morning sun, afternoon shade, and locked so the kids can't get in. Once we demolish the pool, down the track we'll be able to get a couple more hives and the old pool area will become the bee area! Nath carefully opened the little gate to let the bees out to explore, and in a week or so he will open the hive to make sure the queen is healthy and laying, then we will leave them for a few months to do their thing. We have to get a couple more hive boxes ('supers') so that they can expand and have room to produce lots of honey - for them and us!

I may not be scared of bees anymore (well, not much, anyway!), but the actual beekeeping part is definitely Nath's job!

The beautiful grevillea.
 We are feeling pretty happy with how our garden and home plans are going, as we are well underway to producing a lot of what we eat here at home. It is such a fantastic feeling to be so connected to the food we eat.


  1. Hey, that's very exciting. FYI, i dont think your photos are of grevillea, looks more like bottle brush which is a different species. Fi :)

  2. ha! you learn something new every day! I had no idea bottle brush wasn't a grevillea! Thanks!

  3. How much honey will you get from one hive? :)

    1. Apparently around 60 kilos (per year)..... but I'll let you know once we do our first extraction!

  4. How wonderful! Bees are on my list too but I want to focus more on the gardens and bigger animals before delving into bees. Not sure on our council rules either (not that I've paid much attention anyway but even so). We too avoid sugar whenever possible, using rapadura (unprocessed sugar cane juice) or honey or date paste.

  5. Wow how fantastic , bees are on my list of things to keep. Wanting to do a workshop first. So Im confident in keeping them. I used to be afraid of them also. Im not now but keeping a hive may be different.


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