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Archive for the ‘Garden Animals’ Category

See the Flow, Taste the Honey

Have you heard of the Flow Hive? You may have seen one the team members of the Botanical Bazaar post a pic or two on Facebook Botanical Bazaar showing us extracting honey from our own Flow Hive. Check it out >

The Flow system is a whole new way of extracting honey from Langstroth-style European honeybee hives.

The brood box stays the same and when it comes to taking care of bees, but you still need to know how to look after your bees. We recommend attending a Bee Course Gold Coast in your local area or find a mentor to supply guidance on how to look after these incredible creatures. There is much to learn, but when you do the rewards as amazing.

Excittingly, the world-first Flow Frames have revolutionised the honey-extraction process. They’ve built an artificial foundation from BPA- and BPS-free food grade plastic, manufactured right here in Australia, on which the bees build their comb.

Plastic foundation in beehives is nothing new, but in a Flow Frame, the cells are almost complete. The bees fill the honey cells and cap them off.

When you insert the Key and split the honey cells, gravity does the rest of the work, and the honey simply flows into the trough, through the tube and into your jar. You’ll know when the honey is ready thanks to the Frames’ unique clear end-frame view and side observation window which let you see inside without taking off the lid and bothering the bees.

They Flow Inventors have designed the frame so no bees get harmed when the mechanism is activated and the extraction occurs, with little gaps they can safely hang out in while the honey flows out. In fact, when taking the honey from the hive, they hardly even know you are there!

Learn more about the Flow Invention and Inventors

We are lucky to have the Co-Inventor and Co-Founder of Flowhive, Stuart Anderson attend the Botanical Bazaar. Stuart will be available at the event to tell you all about this local invention that has international success. He is also happy to answer all your buzzing questions and will have Flowhives avialable for purchase on the day.

An introduction to Flow™ Hive from Flow Hive on Vimeo.

How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Attract Butterflies to Your Garden!

When planting for butterflies and to attract butterflies to your garden it is important to plan for all four stages of a butterfly’s life: adult, egg, caterpillar, and chrysalis.

When you spend the time to attract butterflies to your garden, it can be a rewarding experience. Adult butterflies feed on nectar, which is obtained from flowering plants. In due course the adults lay their eggs, which need an unobtrusive leafy or grassy spot. When caterpillars hatch from the eggs, they will need all kinds of plant protein (although some are carnivorous) to prepare for the day when they form a chrysalis, and the whole process begins again.

One group of nectar-producing plants native to Australia is Micromelum minutum, small trees or shrubs of the citrus family Rutaceae. These plants are more commonly known as Lime Berry, Micromelum, Tulibas Tilos, Talafalu and Chememar. Other native Australians are Bursaria spinosa (Sweet Bursaria, Christmas Bush, Blackthorn, Prickly Box), Leptospermum (Teatree), Melaleuca (also referred to as Teatree, but more commonly known as Paperbark, or Honey-Myrtle), Eucalyptus (many varieties), Allocasuarina (She-Oak), Banksia (many varieties), Bossiaea (several varieties), Callistemon (Bottlebrush), Correa (several varieties, including Dusky Bells), Goodenia ovata (Hop Goodenia), Hakea (many varieties, including Pincushion Tree), Pimelea (many varieties, including Alpine Riceflower), Myoporum (Boobialla), Solanum (Kangaroo Apples), Parsonsia (New Zealand jasmine), Viola hederacea (Native Violet), Clematis (many varieties), and Pandorea pandorana (Wonga Vine). Almost all native wildflowers will produce nectar that butterflies find tasty. Local garden centers are excellent resources in this regard.

Non-native nectar-producing plants that have adapted well are Buddleia davidii (Butterfly-Bush, Summer Lilac, Orange Eye), Pentas (several varieties, one called Egyptian Star Flower), and Lantana camara (Big-Sage, Wild-Sage, Red-Sage, White-Sage and Tickberry). Lantana camara can be invasive, so careful consideration is a good idea.

Plants where butterflies like to lay their eggs, and where the hatched caterpillars prefer to dine, are referred to as butterfly host plants. In this case, it is usually best to stick to native varieties, which have stood the test of time. Proven butterfly host plants are Acacia (Wattles, which is also a good nectar plant), Pultenaea (Bush Peas), Scaevola (Purple Fan Flower), Lomandra (Spiny-head Mat-rush or Basket Grass), Poa (several varieties, including Annual Meadow Grass and Tussock Grass), Gahnia (Sawsedge), Carex (Sedge, many varieties), Hardenbergia violacea (Purple Coral Pea, also a nectar plant), and Kennedia prostrata (Running Postman, also an nectar plant). Many native trees host varieties of Mistletoe that are good places for butterfly eggs; this is another instance in which local garden centers are invaluable resources.

One final note: A garden dripping with pesticides and herbicides will neither attract nor sustain butterflies.

Gold Coast Butterflies

Gold Coast Butterflies has a wonderful collection of Butterflies and talks at their Butterfly Education and Conservation Walk-In House. They are open Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 2pm and every day of Qld School Holidays. Entry is only $5.00.

You will be able to also see Gold Coast Butterflies at the Botanical Bazaar, Gold Coast Gardening Expo.