Tag Archives: Beekeeping

Beekeeping at 7000 ft: Nepal field work part 4

On the last day of field work, while we were waiting for a bus to take us back down to Kathmandu, I spotted some small bee hives next to one of the houses belonging to the local Tamang peoples:

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With a few minutes to spare before the bus left, I quickly investigated and discovered that only one of the hives was actually in use:

But interestingly, the bees inside where the native Asiatic or eastern honeybee (Apis cerana) rather than the European or western honeybee (A. mellifera) that is more familiar in Europe.  The bees are a bit smaller and more distinctively striped than their western counterpart:

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There didn’t seem to be much around for the bees to forage on, just a few flowering mustard plants, so I suspect that they were travelling some distance to find nectar and pollen:

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At this altitude of 2092 masl, or about 7000 feet, the winters are long and cold and the summers dry and hot, so the bees must be tough if they are kept there all year round.  I wonder if A. mellifera would survive these conditions?

All too soon the bus driver sounded his horn and it was time to go; an interesting encounter with a bee species I’d not previously seen.

 

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Filed under Biodiversity, Honey bees, University of Northampton

Spiral Sunday #8 – a skep for honey bees

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This week’s Spiral Sunday post is appearing rather later than usual as we’ve just got back from a weekend trip to Lancaster to see my son Patrick.  It was nice to be back in the north and in the homeland of my paternal grandfather’s family: my father’s family hailed originally from Lancashire before his father migrated to the north east in about 1900.

At the top of the street where Patrick’s house is located is a building that used to belong to a local Co-Operative Society store, a fine organisation with its roots in Lancashire.  Above the doorway is a beautiful stone carving of a skep, a traditional honey bee hive made by coiling straw in a spiral to form a dome shape, and the traditional symbol of the Co-Operative Society.  The spiral is not obvious from this, so you’ll just have to trust me!

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Filed under Biodiversity and culture, Honey bees