Tuesday, 29 January 2008

We've got Hives! and lots of other bugs!

Finally after many years of unforgivable procrastination we have finally got some beehives. Alfred Wittosch a local beekeeper from Otway Apiaries delivered our first hives about a month ago and today resplendent in his brand new outfit he gave us our first taste of fresh honey.
Fresh almost pure nectar straight from the comb that can only be compared to the taste of the first extra virgin oil directly from the press.
It was too young but we just could not resist a sample. Alfred explained that the bees concentrate the nectar and reduce the water content from about 60% to less than 15% by fanning it to give us what we call honey. Alfred is one of those people who for me rekindles the passion that we can lose sight of in pursuing this sometimes frantic foodie life. He loves his bees.
By the time we re-open [probably the first week in May] [more details later] we should have enough to be self-sufficient in this divine seminal sweetness.
But there are many other bugs here too... the spiders were at it last night.
With certain weather conditions we get a lot of small beetles that are attracted to the house lights and somehow our resident arachnoids know when and where to web.


Darby said...

Good luck with the bees George. My friend Max started the beekeeping game in Tassie a couple of years ago. He got stung and developed an anaphalaxic reaction. A trip in an ambulance and an overnight stay in hospital hasn't dampened his enthusiasm, but I think he gets his honey in jars these days.

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Got a stash of Phenergan in the first aid kit from the time I picked up a log and deposited a mob of wasp ants inside the T Shirt. Ouch.

t h e - g o b b l e r said...

I am a late convert to the magic of honey George. Like your bloke there's an old fella called Hedley Hoskinson who is largely regarded as the eminence gris of honey making in the south.
Our native honey industry here has been under threat for years now as deforestation has drastically reduced the number of trees from which many of the distinctly Tasmanian honeys are made.
I would love to have bees but I too, sadly am a sufferer of anaphalaxus like your last commenter.
Here we also have the the fat bumble bee which looks like it could come straight out of central casting's book of the perfect looking bee!

Stephanie said...

Hi George... OK, here's a question that may challenge you: my parents have bees too! Except, they're the unwanted variety... a group of the little monsters (what's the collective noun for a group of bees???Pod?Flock?... ah... swarm!) ... a swarm of the little monsters have made themselves very comfortable in the walls of my parents' house in Queensland. And my poor Mum and Dad can't get anyone to come out and try and remove them. The honey is slipping down the laundry walls and starting to move towards the kitchen and my parents are starting to get a bit tetchy about it. Who can help for heaven's sake!!!????

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Why won't they come and get them?
In the local Yellow Pages there will be a a swarm remover listed under bee-keepers. Ask your parents not to get a pest controller if possible or they will just destroy them and we need all the bees we can get. Beekeepers take the hive and re-house them to take to people like me who need new hives. Good luck with them.
The QLD bee-keeping association should also be sympathetic and helpful.

stickyfingers said...

How exciting George! It's just such a wonderful bounty. As for spiders, they're a blessing in disguise the way they get rid of the smaller bugs.

Steph, years ago some friends of mine had bee problems which they fixed by siphoning some smoke into the hive.