Busy as bees last weekend…

Bee-man Peter with our biggest spring swarm so far..

Bee-man Peter with our biggest spring swarm so far..

Saturday 14 November 9.30-3.00

Hilary Star FogedA workshop on Te Tiriti o Waitangi for Earthsong residents and family members. Hilary Star Foged, one of the external trustees on the Earthsong Centre Trust, facilitated a carefully crafted and sensitive process to enable Earthsong people to examine our knowledge about the Treaty of Waitangi (both the Maori and the English versions), what led up to the signing of the Treaty, what followed, and what it might mean for us as Earthsong residents in Ranui today.

She also used an excellent resource, a lively interactive CD which provides clear analysis in an amusing but powerful way, using cartoon figures and a wide variety of graphics…initially designed for teenagers, it is one of the best we’ve seen for adults too. You can view the contents at:


Sunday midday 

Bees , the loud humming of bees, swarming. A huge host zooming about in seemingly random fashion , a cloud over the lake. They hovered over a coprosma, then focussed on the branch of small grapefruit tree on the bank, and slowly formed the huge hanging clump seen above. Hard work, gathering around a queen and seeking a new home…

We’ve had several swarms already this spring, but this one is far bigger than the earlier ones- Peter, the Bee Man, estimated 20,000 bees when he arrived. He cheerfully urged them into a box, and took them off to begin a new hive. And not one sting!

Sunday 2.00-4.00pmP1030878

A working bee attracting 16 adults (including two former members, and three who will soon move in) gathered in the orchard to help weed vegetable beds and fruit trees, weed and mulch pathways, prune overhanging branches, spread wood chips in the chook run, and make a giant hot compost. Taiga, aged six, watered gardens and compost carefully and Hazel, two, stirred prunings in a bucket, helping her mum bake another cake,  and patted the hens.  The reward for us all was the gathering around the rotunda for refreshments – home-baked scones, muffins, cakes… Community at work.

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