Bee training @ the Laikipia Permaculture Centre - North Kenya
This past weekend got off to a smashing start for Barefoot bee girl; Jess de Boer with a 15kg harvest of 100% homegrown, champagne-coloured, mixed blossom honey !
But the delightfully sticky filtering process had to be put on hold because a beginners beekeeping training was due to kick off at the Laikipia Permaculture Centre (LPC) as part of a 2-week PDC course with a group of 24 fired-up human beings.
The first days training started with a bit of human & bee history - (Did you know that the Aztec people of South America used bees in warfare as living missiles!?) followed by a short overview of Kenyan beekeeping with a slideshow sample of images from past projects completed all over Kenya.
A physiology/ biology session then took place followed by a very successful practical session where participants enthusiastically melted beeswax, mixing with a variety of butters (cocoa & shea), natural scents (honeysuckle, peppermint & pineapple) making beautiful beeswax candles, beeswax body cream, a raw honey healing balm and a lip balm that made even the tough Ugandan boys swoon.
Afternoon tea (served with some famous white, Laikipia Acacia Mellifera honey) was then followed by a session in the demonstration garden - selecting & preparing the site for the new apiary down by the river.
As the sun began to sink, Jess then zipped herself up (with the aid of masking tape to double seal all possible bee-entry holes) and went down to the existing bee hives that needed serious attention. Only one hive was occupied, the others having fallen into disrepair and infested with Wax moth. These were dutifully removed, cleaned and re-baited ready for the new apiary. Meanwhile back at the center the rest of the group ate their beans and home grown greens in front of a BBC nature documentary focused on our little striped heroes entitled ‘Queen of the Savannah’.
All in all a fantastic weekend
... and now back to the filtering .....