I was trying to understand why all over Australia, farmers have been complaining of the vanishing bee population, when my entire yard gives off a daily buzz it is so filled with these most wonderful of nature's gifts. Every day I see more of them. The sight of them merrily moving around from flower to flower never fails to remind me of the Lord's unfathomable wisdom and brilliance, which the entire universe bears witness to. If you work your way through it in evolutionary reasoning, you can almost make sense of bees in terms of biological game theory. Almost. Seeing the bigger picture, it is impossible to explain how these creatures are so devoted to synergic activities in terms of rewards versus energy expenditures. Bees are constantly doing one hell of a big favor for everybody and everything. Kind of like the lowly earthworm, without whom almost all plant life species would eventually die.
I found out the other day that hives spontaneously established themselves in the nature reserve nearby over a year ago. A new hive recently started in my neighbor's tree.
I don't know how practical it is at this time but I intend to start a mini-hive of stingless bees in my permaculture lab. These critters are a specialty in Australia, tiny little pygmy fuzzies that make very small nests and produce a mild, flavorful honey. People often remark of these bees that although their output is less and they seem to never expand much in population, you see this breed thriving in the most difficult conditions. As long as they get some light, access to water and flowering plants they tend to do very well. I think of them as survivalist bees. They don't get too ambitious and they stay small enough it doesn't take much to keep them well fed.