Busy Bees

Standing in front of 23 hives, it becomes bleedin’ obvious where the saying “busy bee” comes from.

Check out this row of boxes. You can zoom in to any square centimeter and see bees. The air is thick with them. The hives have been in this location for 2 1/2 days since their move but no one is resting on their laurels in this apiary.

Bees racing to and from their hives

Bees racing to and from their hives

This lemon scented gum tree is the favourite feeding spot (for the moment) for the bees. You can hear it buzzing from meters away.

Honeybees in the lemon scented gum tree

Honeybees in the lemon scented gum tree

And they’re also busy collecting water. The poor chickens have to share their trough with the bees. I suppose the river is a bit further away and so the bees have adopted the chook watering hole as theirs. Not much I can do about it. The chickens have jugs of water so they don’t have to put their head next to a row of bees if they don’t want to but I’m sure they’d rather the bees buzz off 🙂

Bees drinking at the chicken watering trough

Bees drinking at the chicken watering trough

For those cold-weather sorts, I’d like to remind you it is mid-winter here. It was about 24 C (75 F) on a sunny August day when the 1st and last photos were taken. (Okay, the gum tree photo was taken in July but that tree is still humming with bees. I could take another photo to prove it, but how many photos of that spectacle do I really need?). These busy bees don’t get much time to put their feet up and shoot the breeze!


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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6 Responses to Busy Bees

  1. cohutt says:

    My little frog pond was covered up with bees last year during the long early summer drought. I read that they are prone to drown trying to drink from moving water or where the access has a steep grade to get to the water’s edge. The edge on your chook trough is perfect for them.

  2. John from Victoria says:

    This is a great shot of the bee with white pollen in the combs in the gum tree!
    Given the huge contrast between the sunny parts and the shade you’ve done extremely well with this shot.
    Yes, this winter is very mild, even here further south. South-East Australia is receiving the full impact of climate change (apparently the ocean currents that bring warm waters around our coast are accelerating). For us the trend is for warmer climate; nice in winter, not so nice in summer.

    • Oh, don’t start talking about summer, please! I’ve moved an hour west which means I can expect it to be 5 degrees hotter in summer than where I used to live – and that was too hot. Last year a lot of colonies of bees died in this area when the outside air hit about 50. I don’t want to think about that for the bees or for myself. I put up a mister for my small apiary with 3 hives last summer, with 25 +/- hives, I’m not sure what I’ll do. The apiarist says to do nothing, just expect some losses. I am not good at being so heartless.

  3. I know I have been busy lately, but my eye must be really off the ball as I hadn’t realized you were up to 23! Congrats on successfully moving all of them.

    • Well, we were up to 3 (my initial 2 plus one of their swarms) but then we decided to move to the farm owned by the Wheen Foundation and disposed of our hives in the process. The 23 hives belong to the Foundation and we just help their apiarist. We plan to get a couple hives of our own in spring by catching one of the Foundation’s swarms. Then I can become proprietorial again.

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