I landed about an hour late yesterday, getting through customs and baggage claim at around noon local time, and headed straight to The Big Hostel. The fellow at the front desk was kind enough to check me in a bit early so I could head to my dorm room, and after calling my mum (brief plug for the loveliness that is Google Voice and the Hangouts Dialer) I hopped in the shower, hoping to feel human again shortly. I chatted with one of my roommates, a Brit who’s been in Oz for over a year now, and when she heard I was a beekeeper she tried to relate to me some place I should visit… which, as it turns out, were the Flow Hive people, who I’ve already arranged to stay with later in this journey.
Day Three I was on my own for the harvest, which actually suited me (har har!) just fine. The Blues were much more pollen dense, as was evidenced by their honey frames:
That’s not scary-black, that’s pollen-dark.
My assistant this day was my dear friend Jinny, who makes a splendid beekeeper:
Day Two consisted of opening up the silver hive and removing four honey frames.
This was my first opportunity to use my new 2-frame hand-cranked extractor (I bought the bundle, though the link just displays the extractor itself). Uncapping, like the previous short-harvest, was done using kitchen knives and boiling water: Continue reading
Merely popping in here to say that the Australian adventure is underway, or at least in its larval stage. I’m currently sitting in the LAX airport, just under four hours from taking off for Sydney, via New Zealand. I’ve just uploaded the final batch of photos from the last two days of the honey harvest, so those will be published shortly.
I spent yesterday frantically selling everything I owned (at least, that which I possibly could) and was packing my bags until nearly 3am. Yes, I was had to head to the airport at 4am. I’m a sucker for fun-with-deadlines, and I’m taking preemptive action against jet lag by thoroughly exhausting myself prior to my flight. I arrive at 1030am local Sydney time, so I want to hit the ground running as much as possible.
Since this blog will be migrating themes a bit, allowing for more of the travel around the bee-talk, I’d just like to note that I’ve had a long, lovely conversation with a media studies professor from New Zealand. My mind’s now sparking with even more excitement about this current endeavour, not just from a beekeeping or adventuring perspective, but also from a sociological one. One of my favorite things about traveling– and about people in general, honestly– it witnessing how everyday people interact with their environment. This includes the ground on which we walk, and the resources that come from it; the water in our environment (or lack thereof); and natural disasters and how we prepare and react. I love seeing how people live around a world that they, ultimately, can’t control.
This does, in fact, tie into my love of and fascination with bees. The human-bee relationship isn’t one of domestication, but more of a symbiosis between an insect we can only hope to cater to correctly, so that we can be graced by the fruits of its labor. What other species do we interact with such that we strive to keep them happy, so that they won’t leave us? The power, with bees as with natural disasters, is with nature, and we can only hope to appease– or in the case of natural disasters, skirt the edge of danger just enough to survive.
Already this post is too long– more honey harvest shortly!