The Good Life: Mr B

So, for my first post in The Good Life series, I would like to talk about pollinators.

This is Mr B. Mr B is a stingless Solitary Carpenter Bee that lives in a hole in the wall next to our front door.

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As good a picture as I can get of Mr B.  He’s quite a shy fella and I don’t have a very good camera!

Mr B moved in the day after we took down the ornaments that were hanging on the outside wall and removed the nails. When Boobook went to fill in the holes in the wall, there was Mr B. Sitting there. We decided not to evict him because he is a Beneficial Insect.

Pollinators are essential for any garden. Without them, we can’t get any good fruit or veg, as nothing would sprout. Insects are, of course, by far the best pollinators in the business, so we’re not at all shy of having a few buzzing around our home. This is why, despite all the problems I’ve been having with Thrips lately (more on this later), I haven’t done any pesticide spraying at my home.

The boand I have been discussing the possibility of getting a bee hive for the garden sometime in the future, but in the meantime, we’re doing all we can to attract good pollinators. We’ve recently purchased a bird bath, which we’re planning to load with marbles and smooth river rocks so that both birds AND bees can take a drink in this hot Summer weather. Only the oldest bees are sent out of the hive to get pollen, so it’s important to give these little old ladies a rest!

Australia also has a number of interesting stingless native bees. We’ve had a few of the really tiny ones buzzing around our garden – they live in a small nest inside one of the gum trees. It’s really important that we don’t disturb the nest, which is REALLY TINY (smaller than the size of my palm even!). Native bees are quite rare and they don’t have stings.  They do not make a lot of honey, but their nests have quite a complicated spiral pattern that interlocks honey with larvae, so we risk killing the baby bees by harvesting the honey or even touching the nest!

I’ve saw a Blue Banded Bee in the flower patch the other day! They’re massive critters, golden and fuzzy, with a blue and white butt. They have a really loud buzz too, owing to the fact that they’re buzz pollinators – their method of gathering pollen is to flap at the flower really hard until the pollen flies out and sticks to them. Inefficient, yes, but it does a lot less damage to plants, so you end up with healthier, larger fruit.

EDIT: It has come to our attention that Mr B may well be a Mrs B, as she has recently been attracting suitors to the little hole she lives in. Also, an astute friend of mine pointed out that she’s not as golden in colour as a Mr B should be. Mea Culpa!

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Bee my Honey Bear: A Clothing Review

I have a very sweet tooth and one of the mainstays in my pantry is a jar of raw honey, not the pasteurized stuff, but raw honey straight from the comb and barely sieved to remove bits of wax.  There’s just something about the thick golden-yellow liquid that is so appealing.  It’s versatile for flavouring both sweets and meats, it has a number of health benefits and it’s delicious.

Little Odd Forest prints, one of our favourite online designers, has recently released an adorable earring collection inspired by honey, the creatures that make it and the creatures that eat it.  Naturally, I ordered the entire honey-inspired collection for my personal wardrobe.  They arrived in a timely manner in the most adorable envelope ever.

The postal bird bringeth the presents!

The postal bird bringeth the presents!

But the envelope wasn’t where the surprises ended.  Little Odd Forest included a small netting bag for the collection, handy for keeping the collection together and but also useful for other things (like laundry).  Inside, I found 6 pairs of the most adorable earrings, packed neatly in little boxes.

Aren't they just the cutest?

Aren’t they just the cutest?

Bee nose dive on a disembodied ear

Bee nose dive on a disembodied ear

If you’re wondering where the bee earrings were, I couldn’t help myself and had popped them on almost immediately after opening the packages.  They’ve been a real hit at the workplace.

The earrings are made out of laser cut plastic and stainless steel.  I’m really impressed with the adorableness of the designs!

You can get Little Odd Forest bags at Sandy Designs at Shop 483, King St in Sydney’s Newtown.  I’ve been given to understand that their bags are both adorable and fairly durable (as my sister carries one practically everywhere).

If you’re looking for the earrings specifically, you can buy them at Little Odd Forest’s website, which ships internationally.