And it starts…

With the warm winter, I expected spring to arrive early. Sakura trees are budded and ready to explode, but will boom later than last year and this years predicted forecast. Queen cells are already built in the stronger hives and drone brood looks good… Trap boxes are waxed up and counting down the days. Counting down the days.

Sumoto Castle

Pre-Sakura Almost the end of March and it’s still a little cold at dusk. Thirty minutes before sundown on a windless day with my hands starting to freeze I powered up the drone and engaged (don’t you love that word 🙂 ) the camera mode. When I first purchase the drone I envisioned myself videoing the Japanese countryside with its acclaimed, for the price the 4K camera, now all I want to shoot is still photos with it… Oh! how I get things wrong.

Sumoto Castle

The Drone Introducing the Anafi drone from the French company parrot. She’s compact and has a great camera, but lacks obstacle avoidance sensors… do I need those? Only time will tell. As a proficient drone pilot with two hours of flight time under my belt 🙂 I felt it was time for a challenge because we all love a challenge, don’t we… The Castle Sumoto castle has been a favourite of mine since moving here all those many years ago. My Showa era apartment, with its Japanese style toilet Washiki Benjo 和式便所, cold water only bathroom and head-banging brain cell losing door frames was and still is located at the […]

Akashi-kakyo bridge tour

At almost 4km long, surviving a 7.2 magnitude earthquake before the competition the Akashi Bridge is currently the longest suspension bridge in the world. This tour runs between April and November, the trip is 2 hours long, Twenty minutes of those up top and costs 3000 yen for adults and 1500 yen for children. There are some conditions so please check their website. Location and Information You need to book in advancd and since the tour is weather reliant remember to have a backup plan.

Friends hives, Un-friendly have

Last year my friend’s beehives were ravaged by hornets, so whenever I have the chance I like to check on them for him during hornet season. Now, This year’s weather has been pretty much disastrous (lucky us) for the hornets on Awaji Island, torrential rain in spring to hinder the nest building followed by a couple of huge typhoons in late summer which drove the final nail into the coffin for the underground dwelling species. As for the hornets who build up high and dry, well…. Even that practice was no match against the tree uprooting wind and the bucket loads of endless rain The Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia […]

Kicked Out!

Last year around April the owner of the land my Ayuya apiary lives on decided to kick me off her land. What sucks sorry disappoints me the most is the time I lost developing the apiary, money aside I probably lost close to 1,000 hours of work over three years and only got to harvest one hive. In 2016 I was lucky enough to overwinter six hives which were due to be harvested the early summer of 2017, But because I was kicked out I needed to move them to a new apiary. Sadly three of the hives did not take to the new area, and two were stolen, yes stolen […]

Camellia

Bees on Awaji island should be thankful for the plentiful supply of naturally growing camellia species during the winter months. Around my apiaries, I am blessed to have the hills littered with Yabu Tsubaki (Camellia japonica), and apiaries closer to civilization Sasanqua seems to be dominant species. If you ever have trouble telling which is which, just wait until the flower drops. If it drops petal by petal it’s a sasanqua and if the whole flower drops them it’s a camellia.

Shed update

Hatada eventually should become my biggest apiary hosting around 100 hives, in the area of the shed hopefully a potential 40 hives so I need to keep tools and hives on hand so I can rock up to the apiaries empty handed and take care of business. Empty handed? Really? Lazy much?  I really want to cycle there some weekends and it’s a good 70 km round trip if I  do a loop. Also I never know if I am going to be cycling, motorbiking or driving the Awaji sports car, aka kei-truck. But the main thing I want to keep up there is a weed-eater. In the photos below […]