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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    What crops are being grown in the area around you? Are there cotton crops?

    What type of lumber do you have access to?

    Do you have access to electricity?

    How is the honey currently being extracted?

    How is it being stored? distributed?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    RichardsonTX,

    Excellent questions. As far as organized agriculture, it is almost all subsistence agriculture in the area. They grow maize, cassava, sorghum, groundnuts (a kind of peanut), sim-sim (a kind of green bean), squashes, eggplant, spinach, onions, tomatoes, etc. There are wild herbs and fruit trees (lots of mango, for example) everywhere.

    Lumber is likewise abundant. Lots of teak, eucalyptus, bamboo - even mahogany and ebony. Some of these are good woods that are insect resistant and do not rot, which is essential for dealing with the tropics. However, they are also strong tropical hardwoods that are not easy to cut. Down the road I hope to help them develop some local woodworking/saw-milling integrated into a sustainable forestry program.

    There is some access to electricity in the main town where our HQ and storage will be. Out in the forest, there are some generators but they are expensive because of the cost of fuel. Solar panels are more likely.

    Right now the honey is extracted from horizontal bark hives. They open it, use burning grass or wood to disperse/stun the bees, grab chunks of comb and drain it through a cloth or something into whatever pot or bowl they have. That then goes into large 5 gallon yellow jerrycans (normally used for carrying diesel or water), which are then either sold as-is or decanted into used plastic water bottles. There is almost no straining and the honey is very thick, dark and full of particles. Strong flavor, but *very* sweet.

    From there, it is sold at roadside stands or in local outdoor markets.

    There is one enterprising group that is packaging their honey in plastic jars and selling them in one or two of the upper-scale indoor markets in Juba.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,565

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    What Doug is doing appears in all ways that I can tell very worthwhile and legitimate. I would encourage folks that think they might be in some way interested in helping out to look into it further and decide for themselves.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget


  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    What kind of hive do you plan to use? Will you extract using the traditional method you mentioned in the earlier post?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    RichardsonTX,

    We will use a variety of hives, beginning with the hollow cylinder bark hives, but will add more and more of the Kenyan top bar hives and Langstroth as we find ways to make them or acquire them cost-effectively. The traditional hives have romantic appeal, but for producing a quantity and quality to earn revenue and attract possible buyers in the USA, we'll have to employ more modern hives. It will be a transition process, for sure. We can't afford to buy a lot of modern hives at the beginning, and it takes training to acquire the skills to build and use them.
    Last edited by DougOfTheNile; 02-18-2013 at 10:20 PM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Advice: Bug Net or Bee Veil - Beekeeping on a Budget

    Well Doug I do envy you. I would love to have a reason to return to Africa even if was only short term. I enjoyed my six years in West Africa.

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