Last week, we had a very exciting media event in the garden. Village Graphics director, Daryl Pitman, was filming around Heritage Hill for an upcoming TV show about Dandenong! It was such big news that the Leader Newspaper, sent out one of their photographers, Andrew Batsch, to cover it. (more…)
Archive for the ‘nature’ Category
Yesterday was the last day of the doll exhibition and today was the big day that Ken and Barbie had been waiting for. Now their work is over, they finally were able to enjoy the garden with the children at Heritage Hill.
The other day, a visitor came to the office to let us know that we had a swarm of in one of the trees in the garden. He wasn’t very specific about which tree, but he did say they were making an awful lot of noise. So we trooped down to have a look with our ears peeled to see if we could find it.
We cautiously walked down the path in the general direction our visitor had indicated, and couldn’t find anything. Then we rounded one of the sheds and suddenly we could hear it. Not angry buzzing, but somewhere there were a lot of bees all talking to each other. Then we spotted it, a big swarm of bees high up in a tree in the garden.
We chatted about it for a few minutes, went back inside and came out only a few minutes later to find the swarm was gone again. Just like that! Who knew bees could organise so many individuals in such a sort time. I remember going on holidays as a small child with my family and there was a LOT more chaos and forgetting things than these guys seemed to have.
What I didn’t know was what they were doing. Here one moment, gone the next. What on earth was going on?
So I headed to the font of all knowledge, the Library of Alexandria for the new millennium, the internet.
It appears that once a hive has reached maximum capacity, a queen bee leaves the hive with up to 60% of her bees. They fly around and then settle in one place not far from the original hive, say in the branch of a tree. Like parking the car when you go shopping, except in this case, the car is your 10,000 hive mates. Then some scouting bees fly around and find a good place for a new hive. Once the new location is found, the scouts go back to the group and they all pop off to the new hive location, where they start setting up house, making honeycomb, finding pollen and doing all the things bees like to do.
So that’s what our bees were doing the other day, just hanging out while some scouts found them a new home. I love learning new things!
As the bees were really high up in the tree, we couldn’t photograph them properly. Instead, we’ve used an image by Chris Rouge, which I think you’ll agree is very nice, from here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisrouge/96474107/