Bees in Kibaha

Bees in Kibaha
Beekeeper Rodney

There is still so much to learn about bees!

While researching beekeeping in Tanzania, I came across a project called Trees and Bees for Farmers in Kibaha. During a trip there, I came into contact with the beekeeper Rodney. I was immediately struck by his infectious enthusiasm for bees.
The passion to work with these animals requires a great understanding of the interrelationships in nature. An absolutely fitting topic for Tanzanian Bees and Trees e. V.
I learned a lot about keeping wild bees at Rodney's project site. If one wants to capture a new colony, it is sufficient to rub the beehives with lemongrass beforehand and to apply beeswax along the entrance hole as well as on the ledges. Both smells attract the bees.
The box is then hung high in the tree with the entrance hole facing away from the wind.

A new colony gathers, sends out scout bees, and with luck a new hive is colonized
Usually, the first bees have already moved in after a few days. To simplify the honey harvest later, the colonized hives are relocated to a beecage.
So it is much more convenient to control the bee colonies. On the next visit to Kibaha, Rodney showed us how he harvests the honey. Well protected, we set to work.
The smoker is ready
The wild basil that grows here is very good to burn dried in the smoker to calm the wild bees, which are a bit more aggressive after all.
Well, the honey in the combs is not really ripe yet, otherwise they would all have been covered. A very simple test shows us whether the honey is ripe.
Ripe honey has a water content of less than 18%, so the drop of honey should not soak the paper. The reverse side remains dry!

We were still able to harvest some honey and take it home.

But the combs look perfect even without honey.