At the Williamstown Garden Club May meeting, members met with Apiarist Jim Pyl who talked on beekeeping.
Members learned quite a bit about providing homes for bees and, like Mr Pyl, you do not necessarily need a big yard to do so.
Mr Pyl lost two of his hives as a result of the very hot summer we just had but was able to save the other seven.
If you do keep bees you need to make sure your trees and plants are well watered otherwise there is likely to be insufficient nectar for the bees.
Sugar water should be provided for the bees if not enough food (drought conditions). He also has a recipe for home made pollen.
Some interesting facts about bees:
- A swarm or hive consists of the Queen, Drones (males) and Worker bees (females)
- They will travel up to 6km foraging
- They can fly at a speed of 15 km/hr
- Give directions to other bees on where to find food by dancing (the waggle)
- Honey is bee spit
- The life span of a bee is 4-6 weeks
He explained that bees are on the decline.
If no pollinators, we would lose at least third of our food. It is in our best interest to try to improve the situation and keep this in mind when planning our gardens.
Mr Pyl judged the vegetable competition and the winner was Kathy Stevens for her ruby red spinach.
Plant of the Month: Salvia Discolor. An attractive plant, it climbs with the use of tendrils and is sticky in texture, a trap for insects.
Birthday celebrated this month: Barry Wilson.
The next meeting is June 3 with soup and rolls.
The annual preserves, pickles, sauces and jams competition will be judged by Steve Zimmerman.
Members may enter as many items as they like. Steve will also talk about his position as convenor of the S.A. Pickled Onion Competition and the SA Dill Cucumber Competition.
The club will also have the pleasure of meeting Williamstown's new policeman in charge.
Enquiries to Pat 0421 348 148.