Horizon at Sandy Point

Monday, November 23, 2015

Living with the hive

Sometimes, you don't have to look for the wild. Sometimes, it comes looking for you.
Bees in conference?

We are not sure when we first became aware of the bees. It may have been as long ago as three years that I started not turning on lights in the house before sun up. Lights on while the world was still dark attracted bees into the house; perhaps they were fooled into thinking the sun was up. Then, they started being attracted to the house lights after the sun set; perhaps they were thinking extra daylight.

After a few episodes of invasions in the evening, we called the beemen. These are the professionals who introduced us to the lives and benefits of bees in the Green Market Santa Cruz two years ago. The message is "cherish the bees, they are responsible for all your food."

It took a few months of waiting and planning. Bede was slightly daunted by the location of the hive at the top of one of the gables of the house - some 30 feet above uneven ground.  Bede Rajahram - 36 years a beekeeper - leads the All Trinidad and Tobago Apiculture Cooperative, prominent among beekeeping associations in the country. He has hives in northern valleys of Trinidad, and consults with all beekeepers - training many young ones - in the area. He said he only discovered that his father kept bees after he got into beekeeping. You think it's possible to have bees/ honey in the blood? Bede is aptly named.
You got bees? Who you gonna call? Bede (middle) with his team: Hassani (left) and Ambrose (right)

Ambrose started beekeeping 15 years ago, in preparation for his retirement from automotive engineering. His wife Marva is in the Green Market every weekend, educating about the benefits of pure local honey, encouraging visitors to taste what the bees have produced from different trees and forest areas.

Here's the story of our bees, told in photos. It's incredible with words alone.
Professional scaffolding to get up to this peak of the house.

We have to commend those who installed the scaffolding: Ricky Raghunanan & Company are truly professional. They installed the platform and adjusted it so that the beemen would be safe.

The day after the bees were removed from the roof and installed in a box intended for a safe place in a different setting, we saw that they had gathered - like a cloud or strange fruit - on the branch of the cassia grande. They hung there for a long while. Then disappeared.  We hope they are happy in a new home deep in the forest.

Ambrose takes the camera

Hassani is on the platform taking out the comb and bees.

Orderly arrangement built by the bees between the roof and ceiling.

Bees and more bees

Bees and their combs; there was no honey. Perhaps they were already planning a departure.




Vacuuming the bees

All made from wax
Next day, the bees gathered in the tree nearby. They decided that they would choose their own new home. They left.