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News from the Moble Garden – Bees, Bees, Bees

September 28, 2019
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I am walking around the garden this morning with the intent of capturing some of the spring buds unfolding daily and all I can hear is bees, bees, bees. I wish you could hear them too.

I am mad for bees and am thrilled that this year’s bees are out and about and settling into their Spring routine. Mr. Moble presented me with a bee hive for my birthday a couple of years ago; ever since, the thrill of the bees and their golden harvest has captivated me. To be sure, there was a brief moment of doubt; as he well knows, I am allergic to bees. However, he also gave me a dear little broad brimmed hat all covered with netting, very Out of Africa, and I have equipped the coldroom with an Epi-pen, so am sure all will be well. It is beside the Champagne in case you are looking.

Setting up a new hive is quite an undertaking; first it must be painted and prepared for the new residents which in our case, arrived a few months later… my birthday falls in a non-bee compliant time of year alas.

The marvellous kick back from embarking on a new project is there is a whole new world of information and practicalities you may or may not take on board. Also, a renewed awareness of and appreciation for what is almost a parallel world all around you. Bees have always been in our garden however I had often walked past them without a thought.

Not anymore, I am officially bee- ware (out of my sincere respect for you, I shall try and keep the bee puns to a minimum) hence forth and can even recognise different bees embarking on their different roles and responsibilities. Bees are very HR you know.

Fortunately, we have a Bee expert in our local town, Quilpie being quite a honey producing district. He has been a hive of information and also pointed us in the direction of some excellent bee books. To read about bees at bed time is to dream of nectar and roses. One of the compelling snippets he shared early on is not to stand directly in front of the hive, bees do not like that at all. I love this as it is so sensible and harks back to simple good manners: one should never stand around in doorways especially in a busy one. Thus, I have taken as much as I can on board and am approaching this new endeavour with an attitude of good manners and common sense. I imagine this would translate to most aspects of life.

Our new bees arrived in March and I now know not to expect them out too early on a cold winter morning, they enjoy a lie in when it is cold. Our new bees are somewhat larger than the old Home bees and I do wonder what they all think of each other. I don’t fancy myself as a bee whisperer so I cannot truly understand their conversations but imagine it is all very business- like and correct. I have never seen bees leaning on a bud with their legs crossed chewing the fat so to speak.

We recently come upon a wild hive of Italian bees in a massive old hollow tree. Pooling our limited knowledge, we have decided it was a hive in peril indeed, with the drought tightening and water very scarce. I convinced Mr. Moble to return with a bucket of sugar until our Apiarist returns and may possibly be able to save the hive. Now Brian is a most cooperative fellow, however he was not so keen on the rescue idea, despite generous offers of my dear little netted hat. Even less so after receiving a good few stings for his troubles. Even so, I think he feels it was worthwhile. We shall see what transpires when our Bee Advisor returns.

Further to my Lepidoptery forays, I am thrilled to report sighting of another butterfly in the garden: the Wanderer Butterfly, Danaus plexippus plexippus. The moth situation continues though on a less intensive scale, thankfully. It must almost be time for the flies to take their place.

Meanwhile, I am lucky enough to be enjoying some true spring weather walking with bees and dreaming of honey,

The Moble Gardener