Lovely buzzy bee in my Autumn garden...see the knees full of pollen...? I tried to get a closer photo of the happy bee but I couldn't get my camera to focus. Sigh. I take so many photos but I'm thwarted by my lack of photographic skills!
Did you know that the phrase 'The Bees Knees' arises because that is where bees keep their pockets (hive sacs) for gathering the good stuff?
I've wanted to keep bees for such a long time now, happy buzzing creatures who give me honey for my eating pleasure and pollinate my vegies and fruit! I used to love watching the big fat bumblebees lazily hovering from one flower to another as a child growing up in the UK. The bees over here in Australia are quite different but equally enchanting. However being severely allergic to bee stings, I looked into getting a native Australian beehive. Sadly, keeping stingless bees in Victoria is not recommended because it is outside of the natural geographic range of the stingless bees and they would probably die from the cold.
Bees are a vital part of the world's ecology and anything we can do to keep bees thriving is important. There is a serious worldwide decline in the honeybee population for a number of reasons, with severe consequences. They are the primary source of pollination for wild plants that nourish insects, animals, birds and other plants as well as plants that we grow for our food - if they continue to decline we will see serious impacts on the environment. If you want to add your voice to the global petition to ban neonicotinoid pesticides that are killing our bee population, please sign up here.
This weekend a lovely friend took me to visit her friend's new place, a place aptly called Bee Sustainable, owned by a lovely man called Rob.
Rob handmakes soap and candles from the honey and beeswax from his hives
Did you know that there are many different types of bee hive for the backyard! I like the simplicity and elegance of Rob's hives.
It seems that bee keeping is quite popular at the moment and rightfully so..the Intercontinental Melbourne Rialto Hotel in Melbourne has hives on its rooftop, they've had the hives a year now a pioneer in the field! The hives are run by the kitchen. The beautiful Lorraine from the delicious blog Not Quite Nigella visited Melbourne and posted up pictures of the beehives that the chefs keep on the roof. I have to visit it myself...one of these days!
The hives and the lavender for the Italian honey bees
One of the bee hive frames - and Chris
Ladro have bee hives at each of its sites. Their hives are run by a not-for-profit group called Melbourne City Rooftop Honey (thanks Chris!).
Well, now I just have to convince Mr Bok...