Tag Archives: Honey bees

Queen’s Birthday in New Zealand, June 2nd 2014

It is a public holiday in New Zealand as we commemorate the Queen’s birthday(NZ is a Monarchy with Queen Elizabeth ll of Britain the ruling sovereign).

In a very surprising, but delightful turn of events, the weather all weekend has been crisp and clear with loads of sunshine.

Some random photos of time spent out in the sun and the breeze today:

Yachting off the coast of Karehana Bay, Porirua

Yachting off the coast of Karehana Bay, Porirua

Speed boating off Karehana Bay, Porirua

Speed boating off Karehana Bay, Porirua

Scraggly Taupata showing the strength of the elements on the shore of Karehana Bay, Porirua

Scraggly Taupata showing the strength of the elements on the shore of Karehana Bay, Porirua

Aloe flower

Aloe flower

Aloes flowers- just a few off a very large plant.

Aloes flowers- just a few off a very large plant.

Honey Bee working for his Queen.

Honey Bee working for his Queen.

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Catch up on the blog

The rhythms of the normal routines here have been altered in the past 10 days. We headed to Hawkes Bay to visit the oldest member of the family as he celebrated his 86th birthday earlier in August.

I wrote a list of things to take in the hope that I would not forget to pack vital items. The one thing I did not pack was the camera. I was very disappointed as I wanted to get some photos of the wide, expansive vistas of the Heretaunga Plains. The landscape there is so different to my usual views here at home.

Fortunately one of the family did take a camera and so I have a photo of the emus that lived next door to the lovely, peaceful, comfortable, boutique self-contained accommodation we rented here.

Did you know that Emus can make a deep booming noise? They don’t sleep for long periods of time so that accounts for me hearing them “boom” at 4.15am. Fortunately the booming was short-lived.

The accommodation is part of a small life-style block on the outskirts of Hastings and the owners have a menagerie of different birds and animals. Part of our rent included these fresh free-range bantam eggs.

We always buy honey from Arataki Honey House when we visit Havelock North. Look at this golden goodness. We take a 6kg bucket and get that refilled at the Honey house every 6 months. This small jar was a gift.

While at Arataki I picked up two brochures. One provides ideas for plants to have in the garden to attract honey bees. I intend to plant some marigolds when the rain eventually stops falling here, in the hope that more bees will visit.

The other brochure details all the new cycle tracks in the Hastings/Napier area. Locals are busy exploring and enjoying these tracks and which will appeal greatly to tourists visiting this special and beautiful part of the country.

Yippee a honey bee!!

I was alerted to an agitated buzzing sound on one of the windows this morning. Hmmm I thought that does not sound like a bumble bee or a wasp. Perhaps it is a fly feeling the slowing effects of a fairly chilly start to the day.

However I am delighted to report that it was a Honey Bee! I scooped it gently out the window and wished it well as it flew out into my garden.

Why am I so delighted about seeing a honey bee? Our beehives in New Zealand have been decimated by the Varroa Mite and this has meant a dramatic reduction in bees and I have particularly noticed their absence on the past 2 or 3 years.

Our garden has lots of bee friendly flowers and plants but if the bees are struggling for survival they will not be here doing the wonderful work they do for us in terms of pollinating and producing tasty, healthful honey.

I hope the local hives are regenerating and that the helpful bees will be back in my garden in large numbers very soon.