Visit to a local beekeeper

Normally nobody of our group gets up at six o’clock on a Sunday. But today everybody did it – some of us with pleasure, some others needed a bit more effort – because all of us wanted to see actual bees after two days of just talking about them. At eight in the morning we had an appointment with a local bee keeper in Kamenica and we went there by foot which meant to get started at seven.

Bajram Bajrami welcomed us at his place and showed us his bees and his equipment. We saw the hives, the transport boxes and a lot of other stuff. In his place in Kamenica he doesn’t have actual hives, but he is breeding queens there. Since he has a quite big bee business in Kosovo with 800 hives, he needs a lot of them. So he could show us how he especially prepares combs for the breeding, with drones but still some worker bees. We were lucky that the bees were very young – like this they were not aggressive and did not sting a lot. It was very interesting!

Our bee teacher Yasemin from Turkey used the opportunity to explain us what she is doing differently than him since she does natural beekeeping and he doesn’t. For example, she doesn’t use any pesticides or other chemical treatments for her bees while Bajram is using some. He told us that he needs to exchange his pesticide every year because the vermins are developing an immunity against it. Besides that, he is also harvesting way more honey from the single hive than Yasemin. But all of that is your individual choice – every beekeeper has to find his or her way, what is best for him or her as a person and what is best for the bees.

When we came back, we had some time for reflection and further questions on bees. Yasemin was able to answer to most of them – thank you a lot for sharing your knowledge!

Bozevce team is ready to get started with bees. Next week we will receive three bee hives, let’s see if the future brings more! Because: The more bees we have around us, the more they can support the nature of our permaculture system and around it. Without bees, one third of the crops worldwide cannot be produced anymore. And the number of bees is decreasing in an alarming speed.

THE TIME TO DO SOMETHING IS NOW and the big question of our time is: TO BEE OR NOT TO BEE.


Diving deep into natural beekeeping…

As the number of bees is drastically declining every year, we need to become aware of the root causes and, most importantly, on how we can save the bees. The “Living with Bees” workshop organized by GAIA has taught the participants to strive more towards natural beekeeping. Natural beekeeping, sometimes referred to as “biodynamic” or “ecological” beekeeping, involves taking care of the bees with minimum manipulation. Natural beekeeping at its core is about respecting the nature and the bees!

Yasemin, an expert beekeeper from Turkey, has elaborated on how beekeepers should take care of bees in a sustainable way as not to harm the bees and the environment. Yasemin concluded that synthetic chemical treatment is not the right way to save the bees; it is the opposite. It is one of the reasons that is causing the decline in the number of bees throughout the world.

If we start to think about the essential needs of bees more and less about our need to profit from them, the bees will live a more prosperous life.

Did you know that a drone can be considered as important as queen bees?

Drone is the male bee that does not sting and plays an important role on the process of nectar and pollen collection and has a life spam that can be a few days longer than the worker bees.

This and many more interesting things we are learning in this workshop of more than 20 people from different countries with Yasemin from Turkey as our teacher who is feeding us endless information on how the old bee kingdom is and how it functions and the importance it plays in various ways that are connected to or daily life. Not to forget to mention that they are that old that could have been here with the dinosaurs and the circle of what they do is a never-changing one.

We have two more days to continue bee-dancing and learning more interesting things in the stunning green Bozevce with a very nice weather this weekend.

This is one of the first workshops on this topic organized by GAIA who will continue workshops on this and different other topics connected to permaculture.