Transferring bees from traditional basket style hives to our newly constructed mud finished top bar hives was a very exciting part of our training sessions held in the Ambakuna and Medula beekeeper communities.
Our exemplary hive transfers took place with each of the respective groups at the homes of a volunteer participant Friday and Saturday evening. Participants gathered in their newly furbished protective bee gear and we began the session with demonstrations on the use of the hive smokers.
This alone was a worthwhile lesson. As in the past hive smoking was performed with the use of a free smoking ceramic basin, the presence of modern smokers allow beekeepers to control not only the amount of smoke they disperse but therefore they can better control the aggressive African bees they deal with.
Once demonstrated, trainees were gathered into an open space out of view from the existing hives. As soon as the sun went down, the basket hive and colony identified for transferring was carried to the work space, filled with smoke and from Amharic to Tembarenya trainees began an indispendable hands on lesson.