Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bees and Basics in FNQ

Hi everyone and thanks to all those folk who still have the enthusiasm to check back now and then. We are settling into our new home and its finally coming together  slowly but surely. I've been busy with my cleaning business "The Domestic Dragon" and we have a bunch of regular customers now which is nice.
Sam has settled into school and the new kittens Felix and Misty are definitely at home now! We have had a couple of WWOOFers staying with us and are now preparing the house for overseas students.
One of the Carpenter bees in amongst the perennial Basil
Its officially Spring in Cairns and I've got to say the weather is glorious! Not too hot but warm enough to be wearing short sleeves. The garden is coming along and I have dug a salad garden out the front and also put some herbs and tomatoes in. Bees seem to be in short supply so I have had a lot of success with plants that need polinating. So I think I might make a bee house for native bees. I have noticed some small native bees, along with these guys below which i suspect are a Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa nigrita)  although I am no bee expert. They look a bit like Bumble bees but not quite as furry. But they are definitely bees. They seem to love the perennial basil, which is great. I wish they'd come round the front and feed on the squash which seems to only have male flowers and no squash!
Since beginning this post I have had a chat with one of my clients, who is also an Apiarist, or beekeeper. He told me that we actually have a shortage of wild honey bees in FNQ due to a small hive beetle which is destroying bee hives. The beetle pupates in the ground over winter and thanks to our milder climate in recent years its population has grown considerably causing havoc in the world of bees.
Bees are essential to our food bowl, and our farmers rely on bees to help pollinate their plants. Sadly in Cairns the council doesn't allow beekeeping amongst the locals but perhaps we can all contribute by helping the native or solitary bees.  Try building a bee hotel to encourage them, many are quite tiny and relatively harmless. Here's a link to something about bee hotels!

1 comment:

  1. I love the name of your business. Having lived in Cairns, it is the most beautiful time of the year just now & I wish I still lived there sometimes.


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