This comic has been stolen from first dog on the moon who is my hero and I hope will forgive me one day.
Despite my internal resolve to stop blogging about bees and return to gardening antics, it appears we have reached our first ethical beekeeping dilemma. There is great suspicion that the lovely Queen Atalia has been usurped by the furious Mrs Thatcher who has changed the general visitors policy. The end result is that we are no longer welcome in a 10 meter radius of the hive, which poses some logistical problems given they share our front deck. Mr Duck Herder, my sweet self and Ziva the cat have all been recent victims of un provoked attacks.
Now on the one hand, replacing strong and cranky queens with sweet natured ones is a long term recipe for disaster for bees in general as crankyness translates to strong and defensive - just the kind of characteristics bees need in the wild. These same characteristics are not so good on one's front deck and in such close proximity to the gas meter, innocent well meaning duck herders and small children (and cats!).
In response, we have taken out a contract on Mrs Thatcher, and her replacement is in the mail as we speak. (A nice young lass from a good family in Bathurst) The whole sordid transaction is scheduled to take place tomorrow. sigh. Lucky I have Eric to help me thought all this, I don't think I could squish a queen bee on purpose - even Mrs Thatcher.
In other news, I have progressed to 2nd Year Apprentice Bee Swarm Collector after removing a quite feisty bunch of girls from a nectarine tree in Weston ALL BY MYSELF! The lady of the house was called Alice, so of course, the hive has been christened Queen Alice. She is now located at the community garden as well. She is not mine - but it was good learning experience and my how my little heart was pounding.
Its all happening man.
In other news, the Issai hardy kiwi is flowering, and Mr Kiwi has just started. Miss Kiwis are not far behind. The peaches are growing well, and the apricots are sizing up nicely as well. The huge cherry tree on the nature strip has a small but still lovely crop of sweet cherries this year which is forgivable after the bumper crop last year.
The community garden had a working bee and BBQ last night which was very well attended. The garden is FULL of brown snakes which is causing quite a lot of discussion. We have decided to keep two compression bandages in the shed just in case although the shed is where quite a lot of snakes have been sighted so that definitely adds an additional challenge factor.
How would one stay calm if one was bitten? I have no idea.