I think its common knowledge that there's been a big trend towards people having backyard chickens in recent years, but I was surprised to see in this article today that the number of urban beekeepers is also growing rapidly.
Both trends are fantastic, although a little surprising given the move to higher density living, more apartments, smaller gardens, etc.
Are there any beekeepers here on Workshop? If so, how did you get into it?
I like the idea of having bees but would be nervous about taking the plunge. How difficult is it to have a hive?
We have done some extensive research into this and would love to have a hive in the backyard however due to limited space and ideal hive positioning, we can't entertain the idea. There are a variety of different types of hives and places you can purchase queen bees. We particularly liked the idea of the honey flow hive as shown in the video below. And the fact it is Australian designed and made.
@Isobel, I'd love to have bees nesting, not for my personal use, but so that they can flourish in a protected environment, to do what bees do, pollinate.
I truly regret having a bee nest removed from the estate property while it was vacant, it was in the very back of the yard, & all of the connected properties.
I have nothing against people having their own hives, in fact it'd be a positive if they made sure that they have a bee attracting garden, to respect the wonder of honey production.
Honey is a true wonder, it not only tastes good, but it has amazing health promoting properties that hands down, trumps anti-biotics & doesn't have any of the side effects.
My wife came down with a lurgy, & though it was improving with simple natural methods, it wasn't fast enough, so she ended up being put on Antibiotics. Sure it fixed her lurgy, but the side effects lingered for months. Determined to follow medical advice, she went through a multitude of creams & lotions, but to no affect (effect?). The bottom line, is that a few applications of honey stopped the itching, & she's been symptom free ever since.
A hive isn't an option for us, but always keen to hear about plants that might attract bees. I have heard borage is a bee attractor. What other plants are good for attracting bees?
@Alicia, we have natives & when they're in flower, we can clearly hear them (even without my hearing aids) as soon as we open the back door.
One year, we had bees packed tightly together around the water's edge (approx 45cm diameter) of a bird bath, which was extremely rewarding. Tania & I often revel that our small backyard, is relatively pest free, & that it's a welcome environment for birds & other natural visitors. We don't use pesticides, or leave baits, nature does it's thing & it just works.
We've even got a tiny (hasn't grown since we first saw her) mouse (Mini), that makes herself at home outside. When she first arrived, she respected the birds by waiting her turn to feed, now the birds let her feed alongside them in the feeder. How cool is that?
As much as I would love to set up our own Bee Hive at home we can’t as we have a main footpath / walkway behind our back fence and we would hate it if anything was to happen to someone walking by. Also our next door neighbour is allergic to bees.
so instead we have a few Native Bee Houses for our beautiful solitary bees who forage in our garden. It is an absolute pleasure and mesmerising watching the Blue Banded Bees foraging on our Perennial Basil, they love it and so do all of the bees that come in to our garden !!!!
As you would know, native bee houses are one of my all-time favourite pallet projects when I find un-treated pallets. I've only ever had the good fortune of seeing blue banded bees a couple of times in Sydney before. They are truly a remarkable insect.