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We got our first nuc with Italian queen (Queen Lala) 2016. Since then we increased our apiary with well bred nucs and Italian and Carniolan queens, with Cordovan and Caucasian influences. We really enjoy observing the different breeds.
Oma’s family keeps bees in Germany, which is very different to keeping bees in Australia, so we can’t claim any knowledge from past generations.
Our queens are named Lala, Maya, Tiana, Mieka, Jasmin, Joyellen, Ginger, Isabell, Anastasia, Pipi, Inge, Sandra, Tanya, Scarlett, Poppy, Jana and Sophia. Fingers crossed, haven’t lost any yet.
We mostly have flow hives, but added a top bar hive, a sun hive and some traditional Langs. All foundationless and worked out the best ways to get the bees to draw straight. Yet, the hive mind often has different ideas. It’s all fun.
Including our beach out hives, we are now up to 20 hives, not counting nucs.
Our main interest is rather more scientific than honey production. We do in house local pollen counts and research at our beelab and as medical practitioners have a great interest in apitherapy.
It’s bubbling away in the beelab currently, in those big glass bottles of various meads.
Our family is known for a ‘wolf’s nose’ in detecting aroma and smells, which lends itself to sniffing out an occasional boutique range of our honeys and it seems to assist in beekeeping generally.
Lately we found a way to produce foundationless Ceracell round comb.
Our honey sticks (raw honey straws) are a fav with our kids and customers. Will have to find an alternative to plastic straws though.
We recently won 2 third placings at the Sydney Royal Easter show in liquid honey.
Our next adventure is attending apimondia 2019 in Montreal and entering the world honey competition. There is a lot to learn there about apitherapy.