Chasing The Sun
So it seems that spring is on its way! Over the weekend, Melbournians had the pleasure of experiencing a vision of what’s to come: blue skies, sunshine, flowers blooming left, right and centre in the branches above our heads. And while the latter may have been an exaggeration caused by bleary eyes that haven’t seen much more than shades of grey and single-figure temperatures for some time, the weekend was definitely a vision of what’s to come.
I love this time of year. There is almost an anxious enjoyment that settles in during late winter when the days start to get longer and every rising degree of warmth comforts the skin and the soul. I remember reading a book by the philosopher, Alain de Botton, called The Art of Travel. In this beautiful book, he describes the moments, or months perhaps, before someone goes travelling. All that planning and dreaming and excitement. Specifically, he uses the example of someone living through a cold winter and heading off on a plane to a sun-kissed destination. He describes how the anticipation of that escape is perhaps the most wonderful part of the journey, maybe even better than the holiday itself! In a way, that’s what this time of year can feel like– the utter joy at remembering spring and knowing it is just around the corner.
And while for some the pinnacle of that anticipation might be their first swim at the beach, for me it’s the arrival of the bees! Having rugged up and snoozed in their hives for the past couple of months, springtime sees bees swarming again. This joyous occasion, the rebirth of the bees into the world, is without a doubt one of my favorite sights! It also means that I start to get very busy, heading off around Melbourne and Victoria collecting unwelcome swarms from people’s homes. I do understand, not everyone knows what to do when they come home to find a swarming hive that stops them from entering their house or feeling comfortable. However, it is very important that bees are removed safely and rehomed by someone like myself; sadly, many pest controllers kill the bees when removing them.
So, how will we know when the bees are ready to chase the sun and get back to business? I usually predict this by looking around the garden and seeing what’s in flower. Just like magic, the very action of those bright yellow wattles blooming seems to awaken the bees from their slumber. When this happens, the daytime temperature is starting to rise and getting just warm enough for forages to go searching for food. And, in a funny turn of events, this is also the time when bees head out to do their business: yes, poo! Some mass poo-flights will happen as the colony wakes up, ready to cleanse themselves, and get back into the business of saving the planet.