Monday, February 9, 2009

Beeing Kind

Last summer a group of children donated money for us to use in bee/honey-related projects among the Ik. We used half of the money last fall to buy 25 new bee-hives. Last week we used the other half to host a bee-keeping seminar for a small group of honey-farmers. We invited Simon Turner, founder of Malaika Honey in Kampala, to come and conduct the training. He brought new bee-suits and honey-harvesting equipment and spend four days with us and the Ik teaching them ways to streamline their honey production for increased income.

The Ik have harvesting honey for centuries, so in a way we were preaching to the choir. But their traditional methods included using fire to kill the bees before getting the honey. Wearing suits and using smokers allows the bee to live and keep producing honey. Simon was suprised to learn that the Ik put their hives in the tops of very tall trees to protect them from thieves and forest fires. That practice makes the whole business a bit dangerous and a lot less efficient.

The training provided us the opportunity to spend our first nights ever in Ik country, which we did with a tent set up inside an empty dormitory at the elementary school in Kamion. Having tasted the quietude and clean air, I have to see we look forward to when we can stay up there for longer periods of time.

Those who participated in the training

Climbing a tree to harvest honey

Training in progress

Sunrise in Kamion

Where we spent our first night in Ik country


Eric and Theresa Camil said...

What a beautiful sunrise. Hope your new home will be ready soon.

Jennie said...

awesome! I'm kind of jealous of your camping in Kamion! :)

Grace H. said...

Those bee suits look like they'll be perfect to wrap goats in!

Suggest to the Ik that they should also stick their goats (carefully wrapped in bee suits of course)high up in trees, to keep them safe from thieves, as well. Makes sense to me!

Kelsey and Travis said...

So exciting to hear about the good things that are happening with the Ike. Glad that you guys can be a part of it. We miss you!!!!

Johnny said...

Hi Amber,
Talked to your dad and he said you has a blog, how is africa? Your dad said they are coming to visit you in March. Bet you are lookin foward to that? Sure do miss you in Holmes County. hope all is well.
John N Karen Graber