Woven Bamboo Baskets

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As I jumped on the back of a motorcycle this morning here outside of our temporary home  in the jungle paradise of Azedebo, I couldn’t feel more in my element. We only arrived yesterday afternoon, and I have already had my first contact with traditional beekeepers in the area. I couldn’t have done it myself though, and have Ashu, an extended Minneapolis family member so to speak, as well as Sigamo, my brother‘s local father figure to thank. Sigamo is very well known in the area so as we pulled up to the door, on our seperate motorcycle taxis, of local beekeepers who were more than happy to introduce us to their hives. I haven’t taken my head out of the trees since arriving, and this morning was no different. Each of the apiaries, placed behind the home of their owner are smack dead in the middle of an uncountable variety of acacias, banana, mango, avocado and coffee trees, as well as corn and the local teff grain.  We visited three beekeepers and their families, and each of the owners walked me straight to the hives so I was able to see firsthand what their style of beekeeping entailed. Made from woven bamboo these light weight cylindrical baskets were buzzing with action, especially on a cloudy and cool morning. Thanks to my friends and translators I was able to ask them a few questions in order to better understand what was going on. Using this traditional method a women speaking for her beekeeper husband, said that they are able to collect 2 kilos of honey from each hive each month.  Working during the night while the bees are resting, and therefore more docile, they smoke out the hives to rid the majority of bees and break off as much honey comb as possible. Because the fauna is dense and there is practically always a flower to visit, the bees are able to rebuild their honey combs in a matter of weeks. Just in time for the next months’ harvesting.  

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