My dad introduced me to bees when I was about twelve years old. To my mother’s initial disbelief, he came home from work one day with a cardboard box full of buzzing, agitated insects. He’d found a swarm up a telegraph pole and, being the original hoarder, couldn’t bear to see them go to waste. I can remember looking into the dark interior and seeing them methodically trying to eat their way out even as they started to fabricate new wax comb.
We spent the next day building a hive for our new guests. I had to be equipped with protective clothing – finding a man’s overall to fit a scrawny pre-teen took some looking…
Finally we were ready to show the ‘girls’ their new home. Without hesitation, they settled in as though they’d never been away. Three months later we extracted our first batch of honey and I’ve been hooked ever since.
For the next thirty years Dad and I had some wonderful quiet moments working together extracting the hard won honey from the workers. When he died the logistics of moving three hives from East Brisbane to Cairns proved to be beyond even my imagination so they moved to a new home in Rochedale.
Pure, untreated honey is addictive, so I have a new hive now in North Queensland. A friend, Jack, provides 87 years of wisdom and a beautiful garden. I provide the muscle and an opinion…
And the honey is as sweet, the aroma as exotic as I remember that very first mouthful to be.
2 thoughts on “Sweet little bees”
You’re right Simon, we do have a healthy population of native bees in Trinity. They probably have small hives somewhere close by. We had one inside a hollow piece of wood that supported a climbing pot plant. No honey out of it either but it was only a little hive.
A friend in Whitfield is planning on setting up a native hive in his garden – seems there’s an expert in Gordonvale who knows about these things…
Of course the sweet little natives will happily pollinate your garden and never cause any pain with a sting! Now that’s the sort of garden helper you want!
About bees ..
I wonder about those other little “native” bees that make nests here at Trinity Beach..
I think they are bees (not wasps .. I know about those.. youch!!!)
The bees I talk about are tiny and stingless .. they live around our house in a few locations.. now and again they swarm.. and we have to smoke them away !
No sweet honey though ..