When bees swarm


The other night Mike rushed out and caught a hive that was swarming.  He had a bee hive box ready and promptly brought the lot to our house.  He found a nice place for them and hoped that the queen was inside.  When we checked in the morning it looked like all was well.

Yesterday afternoon however, as I went out to hang some laundry to dry, there was a mass of bees frantically flying around the house.  They were moving so erratically that I stayed inside until they settled on the trunk of a tree in our driveway.

I’ve not been stung by a bee in a few years now (despite having spent plenty of time around native bees in Western Australia by the thousands) I learned early on – it is true if you stay calm you’ll be of no notice to them.  These images and video were taken only one foot away from the swarm.  Mike and his brother called the “bee doctor” (a relative) after work and got some advice before they collected the bees, conditioned the hive again and transplanted them back

Collecting them is quite simple.  In this case (we had a bee suit) the guys placed the hive back under the low hanging branch and gently pulled the swarm from the very top of it’s perch downward.  This causes the bees to fall en mass.  Which is actually a really cool thing to see happen.

So far this morning… all is well.  Hopefully soon they will start to tend their eggs and begin to gather pollen and nectar.

Fluffy Bums?

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.20.48 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.20.14 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.19.55 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.19.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.26 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.18 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.07 PM

A few months back I saw this creature online and I wondered if I’d ever be lucky enough to see something similar here in Western Australia.

Well, today was that day.  I went out with my camera hoping to find something new and discovered a large crop of these “fluffy bums”.  Techinically called “scolypopa australis” they are found all over the planet – and at this stage they are teenagers yet to morph into their adult form.  In New Zealand they can secret nectar when feeding on a specific type of plant – which in turn is actually quite toxic.  Bee’s collect the nectar and unfortunately can poison the honey…which has lead to some illness.  These little creatures – oddly are not native to New Zealand but come from Australia.

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.24.04 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.23.42 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.24.34 PM

This I believe is a fly – but what type exactly I’m not quite sure.  There are ‘bee flies’ but they are a bit hairier…Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.23.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.40 PM

I know I had promised it would be a little wait until I revealed my big secret…but we must wait just a little longer.  I should be able to tell you when Mike is back in just under two weeks time.  For the time being I hope these dainty flowers will suffice.

xo Holly

ps: totally unrelated – I’m looking to do a Canadian/Australian “treat” swap – If you’re in Canada and would like to receive some amazing Australian goods… please let me know and I’d be happy to ship some over.  I have a couple of items that have been front of mind the past couple of months… and I’m so (desperate) keen to get my hands on a couple of inexpensive yet classically Canadian items.

Madam Bovary & the bronze aussie jumper

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.51.07 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.51.44 PM

This might be the largest jumping spider that I’ve come across.  It’s nearly 3x bigger than any of the others.  A quick search tells me it might be a bronze aussie jumper (but are not listed as being in WA).  I am pretty damn stoked to see it today.
Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.53.16 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.53.07 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.52.56 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.52.45 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.52.34 PM

My usual crew were out on the leaves today too.Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.52.21 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.52.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.51.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.51.29 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 5.51.21 PM

I’ve been reading this novel over the past couple of days.  Originally written in French in 1856.  It never ceases to amaze me how familiar the people of 100+ years ago seem.  This novel intrigues me like all modern classics, particularly because it shows that even though we’ve evolved…our ancestors have experienced the same emotions; heart ache, death, love, happiness…it’s all been experienced before, and yet I sometimes foolishly believe I’m experiencing elements in my life that may have never been felt before.    Wrong, and kind of self indulgent that I may at times believe so.

I’ve been out lolling about in the streets lately, people watching (of which I’ve been told I’m terribly indiscreet).  When I see frail, stooped older people (my heart melts) my mind wanders and I imagine what they must have been like when they were young.  Am I similar to the woman wearing a colourful outfit, with her hair perfectly styled?  Was she wild when she was young and able to run?  Perhaps.

Will Mike and I live into old age and still hold hands in the street, while we wander to get groceries…

I imagine we will.

I smile a lot to myself when I read these older works…  Everything we experience in this life, has been felt before.

Oh yes, today is the 3rd anniversary of this blog.  Well done me!

Just photos today.

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.10 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.36.34 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.36.24 PM

This is my first ever spotting of a Granite Sun OrchidScreen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.34.39 PMThese were closed a few days ago…and then they majestically opened today.  Fringed Lilies.Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.36.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.36.06 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.40 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.32 PM

Also the first time I’ve ever seen an orange fly!Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.25 PM Not sure what I’m interpreting here…

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.35.00 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.34.53 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.34.11 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.34.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 7.33.55 PM

This thing is about 6 inches long, it landed on me (I freaked) and then it perched on this twig.