Real World Gardener Keeping Bees part 2

November 16th, 2019

KEEPING BEES Part 2

Last week part 1 of this two-part series about bee-keeping went to air, so I’ll revise a little of that in the interview.

If you are considering keeping bees, don’t just get a bee hive and hope for the best.

Don’t be like some people that have put Flow Hives in the backyard and not put any bees in and wondered why they don't get any honey.

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Would you be game enough to collect a wild swarm of bees?

 

Or others that have put just one queen bee in a Flow Hive [without a colony]."

Be informed and do the right thing.

Let’s find out about things you need to know about keeping bees in part 2 of this 2 part segment.

I'm talking with John Scot from www.eezybeez.com.au

Tip: using a smoker calms the bees quite a bit because it gives the bees a cue that something is going to happen.

You will also need to replace you queen bee after 3-4 years because she will have become less productive and your beehive colony will go into decline in as little as 6 - 8 months.

That is because the queen bee is unable to lay sufficient worker bee eggs.

Buying a queen bee can be done online and the best time to buy in Australia is from October until the end of autumn.

For a current list of queen bee producers refer to the Australasian Beekeeper (www.theabk.com.au), or the Australian Honey Bee News.

 

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photo Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Just remember, one of the most important things you need to do if you want to keep bees is to register with your state’s DPI.

If there's an outbreak of disease in the bee population that could threaten Australia's crops and environment, the department needs to keep beekeepers informed.

Registration allows the DPI to identify owners of beehives and know where the hives are located and communicate with them if there's ever an outbreak of disease outside of Australia,

If you have any questions for me or for John, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 

Real World Gardener Bee Keeping part 1

November 12th, 2019

BEE KEEPING part 1

Thinking about keeping bees but didn’t know where to start?

Is keeping bees a lot of hard work?

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Marianne & John Scott

Are you wondering why keep them in the first place?

Well there’s the pollination of flowers, both ornamental and on vegetables in your garden as well as neighbouring gardens, plus the reward of honey by the kilo, not to mention the hive byproduct of beeswax.

Let’s find out about things you need to know about keeping bees in part 1 of this 2 part segment.

I'm talking with John Scot from www.eezybeez.com.au

 

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Langstroth Hive: Image-CSIRO

NOTE:  If you are keen on keeping bees, then you must register with the Department of Primary Industries.

  • A hive is made up of a bottom board, a box and a lid. When you expand a put another box on top, this box is called a 'super.'

    What type of hives are out there?

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Flow Hive

Langstroth: the traditional hive with wooden frames.

  • There are two sizes, an 8 or 10 frame box.
  • Each frame has hexagonal wax moulds that the bees can then use to build their own comb on top of. 

Flow HiveThe bees fill the honey cells and cap them off. When you insert the Flow Key and turn it,  the hone cells are split so that honey flows into the trough, through a tube and into your jar.

 

We all know what honey is but did you know that that bees make it by gathering nectar from plants and processing it in their stomachs?

They keep the honey in cells, adding an enzyme to ripen it.

It's stored as a food reserve for the colony in winter but, since they make more than they need, beekeepers can collect the surplus.

If you have any questions for me or for John, why not write in to Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Forest Bathing with Louise Kiddell

December 20th, 2018

Feature Interview:

Forest Bathing with Louise Kiddell

Sounds like a skinny dip in the lake, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It's all about immersing yourself with nature and reconnecting. Not a bushwalk or a walk in the park, but an opportunity to slow down and allow nature to enter your body through all the senses.

Sound a bit far fetched?

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Forest bathing

Just listen to this.

I'm talking with Louise Kiddell, a certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, one of the few in Australia.

It all started in the 1980's in Japan called "Shinrin Yoku" which translates as "forest bathing."

This is what they say, 

"A nature connection walk is not a strenuous hike, or informative naturalist walk. Rather, it is an opportunity to slow down and allow nature to enter your body through all your senses.”

Think of it as another form of yoga.

Just as with yoga, you can practise it alone but it helps immensely if you start with a guided walk to get you onto the right path, so to speak.

Find out more on Louise's website https://barefootwellbeing.com/

Real World Gardener Little Corella is \Wildlife in Focus

May 17th, 2018

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Little Corella

Some people love them some people hate these mostly white birds that arrive in huge numbers.

They're one of those birds that like to skid to rooves of silos, or swing around telegraph wires or the blades of a windmill.

 

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When you see them in flight they do look like a few other similar birds.

Can you tell the difference between a Little Corella, and a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo?

Let’s find out about these naughty birds. 

I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons Manager of www.birdsinbackyards.net

The Corellas are still a biggish bird, measuring around 42cm long and weighing just under 500 grams.

The distinction is the long beak and the pale pink section between the eye and the beak called the "laws."

The also have a bluey coloured eye ring.

The West Australian newspaper writes

“White corellas will soon outnumber seagulls and will be one of the State's most serious animal pests, causing damage to homes and many businesses, according to wildlife experts.

Department of Environment and Conservation chief zoologist Peter Mawson said the rapidly expanding numbers of the Eastern States native, introduced in WA after pets were released into the wild, more than doubled in the Perth area each year and would continue to do so.”

Rather dramatic and perhaps overstated.

The beak is the dead giveaway if you’re looking up at a flock.

If you have any questions either for me or Holly, you can email us Realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2rrr, PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener amazing Olive Backed Oriole is Wildlife in Focus

April 24th, 2017

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Olive Backed Oriole Oriolus sagittatus

 

What would you pick for the top songbird in Australia or perhaps just in your district?

Perhaps the Magpie, or Butcher bird, or for those who are a bit more savvy with bird identification and bird calls, would you pick the Figbird? Australia does make the top 40 songbirds in the world, but would you have picked this next one?

 

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Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus saggitatus) Picture of the Olive-backed Oriole has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

 

Olive Backed Oriole (Oriolus saggitatus) Picture of the Olive-backed Oriole has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

 

Did you know that not only does the Oriole like to live in woodlands and rainforests, but leafy urban areas that plenty of trees.

You may have heard the call and not realised what bird it the call belonged to.

 

Let’s find out.  I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards.

As Holly mention, the Oriole is found along coastal and near inland strips in northern and eastern Australia from Broome WA, to the south-east of South Australia; plus around Adelaide.

 

These birds are really good at hiding themselves especially the fact that they can throw their calls and mimic other birds such as magpies.

 

All in all, making it a challenge to find them, but surprisingly they can be found in urban areas that are leafy and green.

 

Listen out for the "orry-orry-oriole" call, which is their genuine call.

 

If you have any questions about the Olive Backed Oriole or have some photos to share, why not drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

Real World Gardener Red Backed Fairy Wren is Wildlife in Focus

March 16th, 2017

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Red Backed Fairy Wren and Superb Fairy Wren

 

This little bird is the smallest of the wren species in Australia.

In fact it’s smaller than a sparrow and because it’s so small, that it’s called the Elfin wren.

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Red Backed Fairy Wren

The males of course have all the colour being a glossy black with a scarlet patch, whilst the females are brown.

They can't be mistaken for a sparrow because they're smaller and have that characteristic pointing up tail, bouncing around like little ping pong balls.

 Let’s find out what’s great about this bird.

 

Smaller and shyer than the Superb Fairy Wren , the Red Backed Fairy Wren has a similar call.

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Female Red Backed Fairy Wren, not red at all.

But most of us won’t see this Fairy Wren because Red-backed Fairy-wrens are essentially birds of Australia's north where they are mainly restricted to the more humid zones closer to the coast.

In eastern Australia they do extend south down the NSW north coast to near Newcastle and in W.A. south to Cape Keraudren, again along the coast.

Apparently they’re common around the outskirts of Brisbane and Darwin.

If you have any questions about Red Back Fairy Wrens, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

 VEGETABLE HEROES

Real World Gardener Wedge Tailed Eagle is Wildlife in Focus

September 26th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney,streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
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The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

wedge%2Btailed%2Beagle.jpgWith a wingspan of up to 2.5m, and standing at least one metre tall, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle is the largest raptor in Australia.

A lanky bird, it hunts by flying up to 2 kilometres high, circling on thermal air currents for as long as 90 minutes and sailing out over the countryside, covering wide areas .

When flying, the wings have distinctive flight tips and its tail fanned and wedge shaped.

Let’s find more. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of www.birdsinbackyards.com.au

Tthe Wedge-Tailed Eagle is found throughout Australia, including Tasmania and will aggressively defend their territory, even against drones.

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Wedge Tailed Eagle

Earlier this century, when eagles were found on dead sheep and lambs, it was thought that they had killed them.

Bounties were paid to farmers for shooting them, (In one year in Queensland 10000 bounties were paid and between 1927-1968 in Western Australia another 150000.)

All that has stopped once people realized that the eagles usually attack only poor, dying or dead lambs and have little effect on the sheep industry. Today they are protected in all states.

If you have any questions about Wedge Tailed Eagles or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

 

Real World Gardener Striated Heron in Wildlife in Focus

August 19th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com

REALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IF FOCUS

Striated Heron

The Striated Heron is doesn't get as much attention as other Australian herons because of its quiet nature.

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Butorides striata; Striated Heron

 

With its short legs, black crown with striations or  stripes on its throat and neck that can either be grey or rufous in colour; it lives quietly among the mangrove forests, mudflats and oyster-beds of eastern, northern and north-western Australia, where it creeps about in the soft mud among the mangrove roots in search of prey such as fish, crabs and other marine invertebrates.

Let’s find out about it. I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.org.au

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These birds are a touch smaller than the white faced heron, and about the same size as Dusky Moorhens.

When foraging, these herons usually adopt a hunched posture, with the head and neck drawn back into the bird’s body, while keeping the bill held horizontally, parallel to the surface of the mud.

It may be small with short legs but it’s pretty good at stalking it’s food.

Slowly, either standing and waiting for prey to emerge or by sometimes plunging at it from a perch, before stabbing it with its sharp bill.

If you have any questions about Striated Herons or any other bird or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike in Wildlife in Focus

June 2nd, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike Coracina novaehollandiae

It’s funny that some birds live in our urban areas but we don’t know that they’re there.

Mainly because they’re not aggressive, a bit on the quiet side and don’t pick up leftovers from the barbecue.

But there they are all the same, living quietly amongst us.

I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.net


That was Dr Holly Parsons, Manager of Birds in Backyards. www.birdsinbackyards.net



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Black Faced Cuckoo Shrike photo Birds in Backyards



So Cuckoo-shrikes are neither cuckoos nor shrikes, but are called that because their feathers have similar patterns to those of cuckoos and their beak shape resembles that of shrikes?

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes have a black face and throat, blue-grey back, wings and tail, and white underparts.

These Shufflewings or Black Faced Cuckoo Shrieks forage in trees, and sometimes over open paddocks, for caterpillars, other insects, and occasionally fruit.

They fly from tree to tree, often landing on a prominent perch  which gives them a vantage pointfrom where they can pounce on their prey.

The Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike is found many suburbs, where these birds are often seen perched on overhead wires or television aerials.

If you have any questions about the Black Faced cuckoo shrike or any other bird or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

Real World Gardener Red Wattlebird in Wildlife in Focus

May 7th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.comREALWORLD GARDENER NOW ON FACEBOOK

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on http://www.cpod.org.au/ , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.

WILDLIFE IN FOCUS

RED WATTLEBIRD

Gardens are a particular favourite of this medium sized nectar feeding wattlebird.



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Red wattlebird



One of the second largest, weighing  of it’s type,110grams, these birds make a typical clucking sound not unlike that of chickens and have a yellow underbelly with red cheek patches.

The biggest wattlebird is the yellow wattlebird and only lives in Tasmania. The red wattlebird lives mostly in the southern areas of Australia, but that includes New South Wales except for inland.

You might see one or two around Brisbane as well.

Are they coming to visit your garden or neighbourhood?

Let’s find out ? I'm talking with Dr Holly Parsons Manager of Birds in Backyards.

The red wattlebird is a mottled browny-white with little globs of red called 'wattles' below the cheek.

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Red Wattlebird photo Birds in Backyards

Not named after it’s penchant for hanging around Wattle trees, but for the red flap or wattle on each side of its face, a bit like that of chickens and turkeys.

This bird also has a yellow belly and a reddish eye when it's mature.

FACT CHECK: Nectar is a large par of any honeyeaters diet and you might find information on the web that wattlebirds have a brush tipped tongue.

That’s not correct, but is as Holly said, just a fairly long tongue that’s good for slurping up the nectar with the aid of a long curved bill for probing the flowers.

If you have any questions about red wattlebirds or any other birds or have some information to share, drop us a line to realworldgardener@gmail.com or write in to 2RRR PO Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675

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