Whether you are religious or not, Easter is a beautiful time of year in Australia. The sun is shining In Melbourne (with the possibility of a few showers popping by in the afternoon…). The trees are turning colour and leaves are falling in the parks and gardens. Nature is celebrating before it gets ready to slow down and rug up over winter. It’s a special moment, the last of many for a few months, especially if you live in Australia’s southern states.
Easter is also the perfect excuse to spend quality time with your friends and family. For me, Christmas has always been the blockbuster celebration of the year; but there is something calm and replenishing about Easter that can reset the energy levels and put you back on track. Without all that running around organising presents in the heat, Easter is a time when I like to quietly reflect on the year so far, make plans for winter, and recharge my batteries. It’s time to walk, to hike, to slowly potter around the garden, to spend time sitting in the sun, to play with your kids, to smell the roses.
And like all holidays that celebrate life and change, bees feature in Easter stories. But on this special occasion I want to tell you about what I recently read about the “Australian Easter Bunny”—the bilby (Macrotis lagotis). You may remember when chocolate bilbies entered the supermarket aisles some ten years ago now. With their large ears, maybe that was the first time many of us realised their similarity to the European Easter bunny (that originated from German Lutherans).
Well, Stuart Dawson and a group of researchers at Murdoch University recently conducted a study into bilby activity. They found that this unique native marsupial species can excavate many deep burrows within a matter of hours; what is more fascinating is that they caught, on camera, a wide range of birds, reptiles and mammals taking advantage of these underground systems. Over 45 in fact! The researchers explained that these borrowed burrows provided the perfect source of shelter in arid regions, especially after fires. This is just another reason to help protect the declining “Australian Easter Bunny” (bilby) population.
So, regardless of your religious orientation, take the time this Easter to think about the things that matter. Realise how connected we are to the environment and find ways to honour that. Go outside, realise what makes Australia so magical (including its native wildlife), spend time with your kids or your friends or your family, and generally push the reset button. This is the perfect time to think about the next stage of 2019, and to make new plans—that’s what I will be doing. As a year-round beekeeper, I will be keeping in touch with you all through the cooler months, keeping you updated with what the bees are up to across the world, even as mine sleep. But for right now, I recharge xx Happy Easter Bilbies!