Thursday, April 18

Bee Keeping

I have been keeping bees most of my life – well not quite - from the age of 16 at least. My father was not one for allowing teenagers to be idle, for idleness created mischief. Since my father grew fruit, there was always a worry the flowers would not be pollinated and fruit set. One way to achieve this is to bring bees into the orchards. So he encouraged me to take up bee keeping (I also took up building kayaks with my brothers and a cousin – also a great past time for keeping teenagers out of mischief) . My great uncle (Uncle Carl) was a bee keep as was his family, and we had some bee keepers in the district, so I had a few people to learn from. So from the age of 16 I have always had a few hives – sometimes many more, but over the past few years 1 or 2 – enough to keep the family, relatives and friends in honey. At once stage I was going to expand to 40 or more hives, but interstate employment stopped this as did Ash Wednesday – I lost all but four hives. The timber which I was to build the many supers – bee boxes from - (from our own forest) lay in one of the farm sheds for many years, but was turned into very large book cases when my wife and I purchased our current home 17 years ago.

Frame of bees
Examining frames from a hive in my back-year

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