Unsolicited letter from one of our
proud native bee owners.

Sunday 8 October 2000
Russell & Janine Zabel
37 Hill Street
Gatton Qld 4343

Dear Russell & Janine,

I received the hive of native Trigona bees on Tuesday morning 3 October. The package traveled well and was delivered directly to me at home in a cool condition. I thought you might be interested in its progress. I immediately mounted the hive and opened the port.  The little bees emerged, had quick reconnoitre of the outside world then disappeared back into the safety of the hive. Nothing much happened for the next two days -- I suppose the bees were communicating their new predicament!

However, on 'Thursday morning 5 October, there were little bees coming and going working industriously around nearby flowering fruit trees (I have several varieties of lychee, mini guava, mango as well as native flowering plants in the front garden).  They appear to be competing quite well with "huge" honeybees that also visit my fruit trees in considerable numbers - there must be a hive or hives of them somewhere close by. I don’t keep honey bees - my family members are allergic to bee stings.

I have a long standing interest in the "little bees", although I haven't had a hive since I was a child. Your web site brought back vivid memories of native bees from my childhood on a farm in Nth Qld. Your comments are so right -- it's a miracle that the native bees have actually survived the destructive onslaught of agriculture. In those early days, locals (very occasionally) used to "save" a log section containing a hive, but none ever thought to construct a special hive for them - they were just a curiosity, not worth spending time or effort on, didn't amount to more than "bush tucker', not worth the effort for their small amount of "wild" tasting honey.

But fortunately, you and your father have almost single-handedly helped the little bees to prosper, survive, thrive and adapt to a hostile modern environment. Great credit to you!  Who knows, you may become famous as the saviour of one of Nature's true gifts to Gondwanna.  They are the perfect "earth child" gift and interesting hobby for all ages.

I will take good care of the little bees and they will undoubtedly reward me enormously.  Kind regards, and thank you.

Brian Brown

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