Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Beekeepers At Work

For five years I have been watching a bee hive living, breeding and growing in the big mortar bricks that constitute a "make do wall" in front of some old and empty rooms, that I intend to renovate. Very old houses do have separate rooms, commonly called the "servants quarters", that were used to accommodate maids and other personal of the ones who had the means to employ them in the old South Africa. 
I  have grown fond of the bees and since I think that bees are somehow magical animals, the question that presented itself now was: who could remove them safely and bring them into a new suitable environment?

After a long search I was referred to the best and most experienced beekeepers in the Eastern Cape, who happened to be a the same time the in-laws of one of my friends. The world is not a small place  but nevertheless things happen as they are supposed to happen.

One day, the energetic couple arrived with their rather large truck and complete armor in front of my gate, while I was still having a coffee outside in my short summer dress, watching the birds dreamily, not expecting much activity for the next two or three hours. 

The operation was run by the chief in command and master beekeeper Christopher. The experience of years of bee handling is written all over his face.

Assisted by his wife and bee keeper team mate, whose task it was to " smoke them out frequently"

Others, who happened to be at my place unfortunately at the same time when the bee-removal operation started, did get dragged into it eventually because more labor was needed considering the size of the hive.

For my friend and IT guy doing some work for me at the time, a simple bee by itself in a room constitutes a rather frightening thing. So I preferred to intentionally overhear his softly spoken question: " What will I be doing now" ?   

Stuffed into a  bee keepers suit he became a bee keeper assistant in no time.

Some things had to be improvised however !

But who can resist Roline's charm and smile?

A little tired after a whole day's work

But according to Christopher: This honey is of an excellent quality !

1 comment:

  1. I have had the honour of being related to the wonderful bee-keeping couple who are simultaneously fantastic parents in law at the same time. To date this is my first visual exposure of seeing them hard at work, saving the bees and providing entertainment for my friend (and her friend) whilst enjoying coffee and yet another beautiful day in Africa.


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