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Caption: Yay! I experienced commercial Africanized beekeeping. We headed out Sunday morning at 6am, going deeper into Apante Reserve, where I live. Two weeks ago Benjamin, a missionary, had to move his 30 hives off the property he was using as it sold. These hives were carried up hill from the road about a 1/4 mile on men’s backs. To make the trek easier they pulled a lot of honey frames out of the hives. And since it’s a dearth time, they were concerned how many bees would be left as we entered the wet season.
It took us about 2 and half hours to hike up hill with 100lbs of sugar, all the equipment and create 30 bags of sugar water. But by 8:30am we were at the bee yard, cracking open boxes. To their delight, every box opened had good results. Only one hive appeared queenless. We added a frame of eggs to give it a chance.
The bees seemed normal at first. But after about 6-8 hives and the rain starting to come down, all the bees were home to “greet” us. They even made me a hat (will post my bee hat next). This week there was a bee attack on people, children and cattle that sounds very bad. And the average stings are 20-30 per work day. So Im lucky I didn’t get stung. But Benjamin and Wilfredo, a beekeeper since before Africanized bees came to Nicaragua in the early 80s, were not so lucky.
The bees were bringing in honey and pollen. We even caught some video of a camera shy queen. Wilfredo says she’s on the small side.
Wilfredo like his bees aggressive. He says they groom better and are fierce against varroa. He doesn’t treat the bees either.
It was exhilarating to be back working with the bees. #africanizedbees #savethebees
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Photo taken at: Cerro Apante