Farm Updates

What's happening on and around the farm
Celebrating World Bee Day

Celebrating World Bee Day

Did you know World Bee Day buzzes around on May 20th? It's like a sweet celebration of the little winged wonders that keep us and the planet in tip-top shape! Our farm couldn't do without them - they’re like tiny flying matchmakers for our lychee and dragon fruit orchards. Without them, our fruit production would go downhill fast.

The date isn’t just picked out of a honey jar; it's when Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture, was born! Janša came from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.

I grew up surrounded by the buzzing of bees. You see my father was a migratory beekeeper. Living in southwest Queensland didn’t necessarily have the constant access to flowering trees, so he had to follow the honey flows. He’d pack up the hives on his truck, drive through the night like a bee superhero, and park just before dawn for the grand opening of the hives.

Migratory beekeeping is still the bee’s knees today, though the kilometres might stretch further. Queensland beekeepers haul their hives to Victoria for the annual almond flowering. It’s usually a paid gig, but the bees might need a vacation when they get home.

blog events farm updates honeybees 000A box of capped honey ready to be 'stripped off' and taken back to the honey shed for extraction

Anyway, back to the hive story! Once he opened the hives, those little ladies would get down to business. The better the nectar flow, the sooner he’d ‘strip off’ – but not in the literal sense! That’s beekeeper lingo for removing honey from hives. Once the bees 'capped off' the honey cells with wax (like in the photo above), full boxes called 'supers' were taken back the shed for processing.  This involved a wild ride of centrifugal force, spinning the honey out of the cells using a mechanical honey extractor. After that, empty boxes were returned to the hives, and those buzzing friends repeated the cycle until the flowering is finished, then it was off to another location.

Fast forward to today. Living and working on our tropical fruit farm on the Sunshine Coast offers a much different opportunity for us. We focus on growing the fruit and I don’t have much time left to manage bee hives. So, over the years, we worked with several beekeepers, including folks from Hive Haven who now specialise in Australian native bees. Those girls were very slow to awake up in the morning – a bit like me every day! When they did venture out of the hive, they fluttered around softly and best of all, they didn’t sting.

More recently, we teamed up with Leisa from Hum Honey, who brings her hives to our farm during the flowering season. Leisa’s apiary consists entirely of European honeybees – the typical stinging bees. However, these girls aren’t aggressive at all; they’re focussed on their work. It's a win-win: our trees get pollinated, and the bees get their fill of pollen and nectar! Do you know what takes me back to my childhood? The gentle waft of sweet nectar when we drive past the hives in the late afternoon. It’s simply un-bee-lievable!

Keep an eye out for more 'fun fact' articles on bees.   

blog events farm updates bee hives 000Hum Honey's hives on site

Join Our Community

Receive the latest news, recipes and farm developments