In 1965, I came to Melbourne, Australia from Genoa, Italy on the ship ‘Marconi’.
In 2010, Valentin Lenko showed me his bees and explained many things. I became very enthusiastic about beekeeping and he helped me with getting my own hives.
I own 5 beehives.
I have good neighbours and a large block of land, with a backyard with high bush fences, over which the bees fly and do not disturb anyone. The block also faces the East link freeway with its wide embankment and the noise barriers.
I have Carniolan Grey bees and one hive of Italian bees, which are more yellow in colour and are very calm. The bee’s lifespan is from 25 to 45 days, when they are working. The queen bee lives to up to 8 years and is most productive for 4 years, the best, starting at six months of age.
My bees feed at my home garden and the nearby eucalypts and at the tea tree bushes along the freeway.
My bees produce up to 500kg of honey per year.
One of my beehives has produced 45kg of honey on one occasion- a great record for my bees. The honey I have is of mixed flavours which I give to my family and friends.
Sometimes I make propolis with alcohol, which is not for sale.
I like the Italian bees the best. Kranjska sivka is very good too.
I am a carpenter and a builder by trade.
Bees are my hobby. I enjoy and love it very much.
I attended the Slovenian beekeeping festival at the Slovenian Club Jadran, Diggers Rest, in 2011, and again at a later time. I have met other beekeepers and we exchanged some information, shared experiences and there is much enthusiasm for the future
I recommend beekeeping for everyone: it is a beautiful, fulfilling, calming hobby, which makes a person happy.
Recorded by Draga Gelt, edited by Annie Thomson
For enlargement click on the photo
Photo – Anne Thomson and Draga Gelt