One of the great surprises which greeted us on our arrival to Tasmania was the existence of bumble bees. These giants of the bee world were introduced to Tasmania around 1992.
The bee is not native to Tasmania and you can not find it on the mainland of Australia. Due to this, it was a great surprise to Kitty and I when we first encountered the insect. It was when we were living in Collinsvale, when we were outside in the garden, maybe 6 months after we moved into the house. A loud buzzing noise alerted us to something approaching, and when the bee cleared the shrubs it was investigating we caught our first sight of this sizable honey producer. Kitty was actually shocked and asked me what it was with a quaver of fear in her voice. I told her that I thought it was a bumble bee, yet I had never seen one before. Over the course of the spring and summer we became acquainted with the visitor, enjoying the sight of it flying it’s pollinating courses through the garden.
I know that many Australians have not seen a bumble bee, and possibly (due to large populations dying around the world) many of my overseas readers have not seen one. I wanted to share a little about their size and work in the garden, so please enjoy the video I filmed.
I have really taken a greater interest in the bee population of my garden. With the Mead I am making I am beginning to be curious as to how honey would taste if I made it myself (by that, I mean I own the bees and the hives). I am still a way from taking the step to get into bee keeping, yet it is a very interesting topic. For now, I will stick to buying locally made honey for my Mead. It tastes much better than any commercially produced.