TGoG Podcast 049 – Bee Keeping in the ‘burbs with Mick O’Connell

This week’s guest is Michael O’Connell. You met Mick in episode 46 and 47, and this time he shares with us the ins and outs of bee keeping in the suburbs.  Mick has a few hives in his backyard which he looks after, and collects honey from.

During the interview we cover swarming, how they breed, what they eat, how they access water, and much, much more.  We even cover the finer points of removing bee stings once stung!
Listen to the Episode Below (00:30:51)
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There is lots of very interesting information if you want to learn about becoming a home apiarist.  If you would like to read more of Mick’s bee keeping exploits, then pop on over to his blog Six Gorillas and check out this link;


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Until next time, Keep keen and stay green!


  1. Anonymous says

    Glad to hear you are seriously thinking of getting bees and that your allergy may have been mistaken for normal swelling. I listened very thoroughly to the podcast with Michael and it sounds like you’ve got a good teacher there. How about putting the bees up on the roof? or pushed up against the wall in the shed with them flying in and out through a slot in front of the beehive entrance?

    Bees will always swarm. Even though the queen may be laying 2000 eggs per day it is still only one hive. True reproduction only comes with swarming.

    Also when the queen lays an egg in a worker cell it gets fertilized as she lays it and it turns into a worker, but if she lays an egg in a drone cell it doesn’t get fertilized and develops into a drone. Thus drones only have half the chromosomes and as such drones have a mother but no father. Workers can in extreme circumstances lay eggs in worker cells but they always result in drones since the workers never mate.

    Finally on the question of bees and the swimming pool. If you provide an alternative water source such as like your new veggie bed lined with plastic and lots of wood floating on the surface, never let it dry out as the bees will then go somewhere else and get habituated there. It will be very difficult to get them back to your original water place even if you re-fill it.

    It is always best to have two hives as if anything happens to one you can rescue it by transferring eggs and young brood from the other one. Too much to explain here, but plan for two hives, not just one.

    Good luck

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