Tine arrived to Australia by plane to Sydney, on 13th December 1963. From Sydney he travelled by train to Bonegilla Migrant camp, where he stayed just over 2 weeks.

The late Fr Basil Valentin OFM MBE often made way to Bonegilla camp and invited Slovenian people to come with him to Melbourne.

Tine has done just that and for Christmas he was in Melbourne, at the Baraga House Migrant hostel together with over 40 young male migrants. Fr Basil helped to find jobs for many of the migrants at Baraga Home.

Tine has grown up with the bees where his neighbour had bees.

“In 1980s the Slovenian Association Melbourne’s club building was being built at the property in Research. While many of us, Slovenians, worked voluntarily at the building site, I have noticed a swarm of bees very close to the current position of the Hunters’ Lodge.

I have made a beehive – kranjič for them: r pieces of wood of 30cm2 and 80cm long, roof being of pinewood.

I have not decorated the beehive with traditional Slovenian painting.

When the bees swarmed again, I bought American beehives, which I could stack one on top of the other.

I have 2 beehives now, sometimes 3.

I like Carniolan Grey – kranjska sivka (Abeille_mellifere carnica), the Slovenian bees.

My bees are very strong family.

In the bottom beehive I have the queen and in the top beehive are worker bees depositing their honey.

I have attended the Bee Festival at the Slovenian club Jadran, Diggers Rest.

My bees feed mainly on the Eucalyptus, sometimes a bit on the pine.

For the winter I do not need to feed the bees, but I regularly, every autumn, clean the hives and prepare them for the spring.

My bees give me about 40kg of honey per year, which I give away as presents.

MY big joy and recognition os the satisfaction I feel working and caring for the bees.

Since I was a little boy, Ialways wished to have bees.

I will care for my bees as long as health permits me.

The bees give me so much pleasure, peace, tranquility and a place to unwind.”

Recorded by Draga Gelt


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Photos by Draga Gelt