bee amazing


They are amazing, those bees.

Adam and I were working in the market garden yesterday and I heard a rising buzzing, and looked up to see a huge swarm of bees come up over the hedge from one of our hives, looking for somewhere new to live. 

There's nothing quite like a swarm. It's noisy, and incredibly organised and orchestrated. You can see them flying in loops, searching for the right please to settle. They came over the market garden and settled in the lantana. Crapola. Not actually being the beekeeper of this outfit, I believe they swarm when there's more than one queen present in the hive. (Less distracted beekeepers apparently dispose of excess queens to avoid this happening.) I did hear Adam swearing quite a lot over the noise of the swarm. 







He set about recapturing them, without the help of the on-site beekeeper with sixty years experience who was out for the day. Usually, if they're on a branch, you detatch the branch and shake it into the new box. The swarm settled on a massive old limb in the middle of the princkly lantana, so this was impossible. He did the best job in the circumstances and relocated as many as possible into a new hive, hoping like hell the queen was one of them.



Maybe they'll stay. And first chance we get we'll be opening the two original hives to see what's going on. When I say 'we' I mean Adam. I cannot quite countenance being covered in bees. I really can't.

I watched from a distance as Adam calmly handled thousands of bees, no panic, no rushing, no stings. Or maybe two in the end, one on each hand. He said he'd usually wear gloves but he was trying to move as fast as possible. 

Well I guess that means we have a honey flow! 

I'm at day 7 of sugar-free September, and it's no sweat really. I'm allowing myself a tiny bit of raw honey when I feel I really need it, and fruit. It's not a big deal, I felt a bit hooked and saturated and it's like everyone says, the less you have the less you crave it. I tried to kick sugar once before and really struggled – I couldn't tell you what was different this time apart from two scrapes of honey. I'm keeping up the protein, snacking on eggs and nuts, and in a way it's like I don't have space for sugar anymore, which is a habit I'm aiming for. That, and being happy in t-shirts again rather than big floppy shirts. 

Those amazing bees. Making perfect sweetness. And hopefully sticking around in their new digs. 

Do you eat much sugar? Do you like raw honey? Could you move a swarm of bees with your bare hands?



7 Comments on “bee amazing

September 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm

No. YES! No.
Last year we captured and rehoused a swarm of bees and it was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done.
Such a buzz (ha).
But fully suited up. Your man is brave.

Ngo Family Farm
September 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Wow, very cool! We just joined a local honeybee co-op of sorts, so we have a hive now (but the expert beekeeper does all the hive maintanence for us). I love watching the bees. So amazing, yet peaceful 🙂

September 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm

I remember getting in trouble from Dad when I was a youngster for running through the freshly ploughed red dirt paddock. But it was so nice n soft on my feet!
PS: have you ever tried native bee honey? Amazing.

September 8, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Some years ago, I had a swarm of bees arrive and settle in a tree right outside my classroom. The buzzing was extraordinarily loud, and made for an interesting change to the usual classroom routines. Thankfully an “authority” on bee handling was called and calmly removed the swarm. In answer to your three questions – no, no – honey makes my teeth feel funny – and no, leave that to the experts!

September 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm

This article is really interesting and lovely! Bees are wonderful.
We moved to FNQueensland in January and since being here have seen very few bees.
There is a serious shortage of them here in the far north, and the Cairns Council doesnt allow bee keeping in Cairns. We have had a few native bees in our garden, a pair of Carpenter bees and a bright blue native bee. The Carpenter bees come regularly and visit our perennial basil, and I’ve planted lots of bee friendly plants. But it is a little sad. I do love bees.

September 9, 2013 at 8:38 am

I have been giving it a go at being sugar free for three weeks now. There has been some weight loss but the biggest thing I have noticed is that I have more energy!

September 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I LOVE honey, especially all the different varieties. We are on a Leatherwood kick at the moment, so much rich goodness. I don’t actually eat much sugar, and the chocolate craving is nearly gone (except for the occasional Tim-Tam, curse them).

And no, I wouldn’t move a hive with my bare hands. Although I did rescue many many half drowned bees from our swimming pool as a child, usually with my hands as I was too lazy to get a leaf, until one ungrateful bee stung me as a thankyou.

I totally respect bees, the highlight of the year was a rare sighting of a native blue banded bee in the garden. I got a very poor photo of it with my phone, not like your gorgeous pictures up there!


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