This is our first season and we got them fairly late in the season.
We wanted to catch a swarm in the Spring.
When I say that it sounds like we know what we are doing. We don't.
We had read about it and watched a bit of footage. We felt that if we were to keep bees, catching a swarm was the right place to start.
We put notices through our local networks and on local noticeboards.
No calls came except the day before we were leaving on a 3 week holiday in the Summer. We had to say no.
We were about to give up on the idea but then got a call from a friend who was splitting her hive.
She was willing to share her bees.
Gunter built a hive (plans here) for us last Winter.
He's a good man for getting on and building it because a year ago he wasn't at all convinced that keeping bees was a good idea.
It was really showing him this DVD that changed his mind - a step-by-step, how-to DVD on keeping bees in a topbar hive and an introduction to bee guardianship.
He was encouraged by the respectful and gentle approach of the beekeepers.
We liked the concept of natural beekeeping
I too am a total newbie but bees have been on my mind for a few years now. How can they not be? Anyone who works at all with plants have noticed their rapid decline. All I needed was a bit of encouragement and so I organised a weekend workshop at the our community garden.
Our hive sits right next to the deck in a warm and fairly sheltered spot.
We see them every day.
We still don't know much but we are learning step by step.
Like the first child, the next step unfolds before you and you step into that space.
We watch the hive entrance - it has become our favoured cuppa spot.
It is the place I go when things begin to unravel just on dinner time.
Just for a moment I sit with the bees.
Their gentleness astounds.
I leave calm and quiet.