Sunday, February 28, 2010


I spent my Sunday learning about beekeeping at CERES. It was really fun! The teacher, Lyndon Fenlon, was very knowledgeable about urban beekeeping. We covered a lot and then got kitted up in head nets and gloves and ventured out to say hello to the bees.
I must admit, even though I was covered head to toe, I was a bit nervous about being so close to a few thousand bees. But the bees in the hive I worked on were very chilled out. It had recently been re-queened, and a younger Queen Bee puts out a lot more pheromones so all the drone and worker bees know she's the boss (like Queen Bea in Prisoner) and to stay chilled.
I did the course as I'm interested in using beekeeping in my permaculture plot. They are essential for pollination plus they give the great products of honey and wax. Now I have an appreciation of how much honey they give. They produce so much you have to collect the honey around once a month. Quite a commitment. I'll have to see if I'm up for it in the future.
For now I get to enjoy a tub of honey we harvested today.

A typical urban backyard is allowed to have two hives, according to DPI.


  1. Hi Sarah! Great to see you pushing on with it :)
    We are in the process of getting a native bee colony in our back yard - a local timber-cutter finds them, and adopts them out to loving homes.
    According to Qld DPI, you should "Keep no more than one or two bee colonies on a standard suburban allotment". They also mention things like "Keep your neighbours supplied with free honey to minimise complaints"! Gotta love it!
    I've recently started grinding my own grain for bread - there's an organic farm not too far from here where I get wheat, and (hopefully) some rye and spelt later in the year.
    Once I get my site up & running, we'll share links :)

  2. Hi Don
    Interesting to hear that you're grinding your own grain. I'm doing a Grains and Grasses workshop next Sunday to learn exactly that, plus how to grow various cereals even if on a small acreage. I found it out through Permaculture Melbourne.
    My urban beekeeper teacher also suggests supplying neighbours with honey. Lucky neighbours!
    I'm also starting up a local permaculture group, too, in the Inner North suburbs of Melbourne. We had our first meeting to organise it only last week. Another woman was keen to set one up, so I jumped in immediately to help. So thanks for those articles on how to set one up.