CCF’s apiary has officially begun! Many of you will remember that you helped to see us off on this grand adventure so sweetly by attending our going away party/fundraiser. Contributions from our friends and family added up to more than $1700 for CCF. We’ve now spent the majority of your funds on getting the apiary started. THANK YOU SO MUCH! This post is about what YOUR SUPPORT has enabled at CCF.
The photo above shows the gear and tools bought by funds from our community – protective suits, veils, gloves, boots, bee brushes, hive tools, and a smoker. With matching funds from the Namibian Directorate of Forestry, we were able to double this amount of protective gear and now have total of four full suits.
The photo above shows enough equipment to set up three large colonies of bees, including boxes with frames, bottom boards, inner covers, and outer covers. All of this equipment was funded by you, our community. I can’t help but love that the bee boxes are stored with the cheetah boxes (behind, in the photo).
You may remember from the last post that we received a feral hive in a tire from the Directorate of Forestry. The bees chose to stay living in this tire and are working on cleaning up the mess that came out of their move (see above).
Paul Visser (above right), CCF’s farm manager, built a nice bottom board, entrance, inner cover, and outer cover to improve the tire as a home. The bees should be comfortable in this retrofitted home, and our hope is that this colony will spit out swarms that we can catch to grow the apiary.
Speaking of swarms, one landed on this low branch at CCF just a few days ago. “If you build it, they will come…..”
Unfortunately, this docile swarm flew away as soon as we installed them into the new hive boxes. But it is likely that more swarms are on their way. We took a field trip to the neighboring town of Otavi the next day to meet fellow beekeeper Nicolene and her family. (See photo below.) We did several hive inspections for CCF’s aspiring beekeepers to learn more about what to look for in a healthy beehive. In the process, we learned that Namibian swarms of bees have a habit of leaving their hive boxes. Nicolene taught us a great trick for getting them to stay. We’ll try this next time 😉
CCF intends to build up the apiary to teach more aspects of sustainability to visitors and local farmers, and to produce honey for food and added income. Once again, huge thanks to our friends and family for funding this project, from both of us and everyone at CCF.