The Bulungula Forest Honey producers recently hosted an expert beekeeper, Mr Faku, to train them on the different aspects of beekeeping and honey production. Mr Faku, a patient and easy-going man from the village of Libode, 20 kilometers east of Mthatha, is a commercial honey producer who supplies honey to buyers in East London – he has 180 bee hives compared to our current 6 hives! The Bulungula beekeepers, Jolibhadi and Siyabonga, were at their attentive best and had many questions for Mr. Faku during the four days’ training exercise.
Bee hives were dismantled and rebuilt, the grounds around the hives were cleared and beekeepers scaled tall trees to mount bee-trapper boxes in tree tops during the training.
Simple and economic solutions for big problems were prescribed by Mr Faku: the bee keepers had problems with ants eating the bees’ larvae and the simple solution was the spraying of the invading ants with a water-and-sunlight powder solution; the beekeepers did not have the financial resources to buy the expensive hessian (a smoking element) for the smokers and Mr. Faku’s solution was the use of dry cow dung.
The training motivated the beekeepers and corrections were made to some beekeeping mistakes that Jolibhadi and Siyabonga were making. There is a positive outlook for the beekeepers as good harvests are expected in the summer months.
After all was said and done, the organic Bulungula Forest Honey was harvested and attractively packaged – mmmm! mnandi!