Spring is here, so are the bees

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Spring is here! We wander around the neighbourhood smelling jasmine-laden fences and lawns sprigged with freesias... we stretch out in the park blanketed in yellow grass flowers. Carefully we make crowns for our heads. We lie still for a moment to feel sun soaking into our cheeks, we hear a soft buzzing of bees around us. I watch those busy workers dancing, balancing, gathering up and moving on again...

Once we get down to Taranaki one of our projects will be to construct and care for the farm's first apiary - with the hope to produce delicious raw, local honey! We are starting this adventure by taking Tim Malfroy's natural beekeeping course with Milkwood next weekend. I know so little about beekeeping, as in, really not anything - but I am so excited to join the movement of people learning this art of understanding, keeping and nurturing one of the world's greatest resources.

Which reminds me, have you seen Markus Imhoof's film "More than Honey" yet? It provides a compelling, frightening and hopeful look into the state of bee-keeping today. We follow the work of an elderly apiarist in the wild swiss mountains, a "mass-production" apiarist who moves his bees by the truck-load around the USA - as well as the alarming lack of bees in Northern China, growing population of killer bees in America, and the health of our bees here in Australia.

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The close-range camera footage of bees in flight and the intricacies of their hives is superb. Though I must warn you, some scenes are quite distressing. The film is in both spoken german (subtitled) and english and is a must see for everyone. Find it here.p.s. I've been playing around with bee shapes in my sketchbook. Mister bee, I wrote, an emblem of Spring... and also of reproduction, growth and the gift of honey...

-Emily