We are a normal working people with a newly found interest in raising bees.
It all started in July 2010. Haniz, my friend brought me to his starfruits orchard to show me what he has been doing all these years. I have never been to any starfruits orchard before and I accepted the invitation.
I was impressed with the orchard because he has been working on the farm since early 1990's. His father started the farm and after he passed away, Haniz continued his work until today.
When we were about to go back, Haniz showed me a colony of bees in a box near the worker's quarter. I was amazed since I have never come across face to face with these creatures. Haniz assured me that the bees would not sting or attack me. I went so close to the box and true enough they did not do anything. They were busy doing their work in the hive. Haniz told me that he has a couple of boxes full with bees.
These bees, according to Haniz, are the best pollinators. They have been pollinating the farm for a long time. Surprisingly, Haniz has never thought of extracting the honey from these hives.
One of the boxes with a colony of bees.
On the way back, Haniz told me he went for a training session to raise honey bees for pollination and also for extracting the honey from the hives. He also bought a few industrial man-made beehives call "Langstroth". He never got around to do the beekeeping on his own since the work on the farm really occupied him.
I got interested in beekeeping almost instantly. I told Haniz that I will try to research on the Internet on beekeeping.
Immediately that night, I looked for information on beekeeping and how to go about doing it. I came across the Langstroth beehives but it looked like quite difficult to build. Then I came across top bar beehive (tbh) better known as Kenyan top bar beehive. It looks simple and I was thinking that I can build it myself.
Few weeks after that I managed to build my first top bar beehive by researching the Internet and watching YouTube! Not much information I gathered about beekeeping in Malaysia.
Fasting (Ramadan) came and we decided to continue this pursue after Eid Mubarak 2010.
In October 2010, I managed to build a few top bar beehives and installed them on the orchard. We did not know how to bait the bees into the tbh but assumed they would be attracted to honey. So we wiped some honey inside the tbh and hoped they came in.
In December 2010, to our surprised a colony of bees occupied the tbh!! We were thrilled. Still some friends were skeptical about our venture.
The "first" colony. December 2010.
I will continue the story in the blog postings.