We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Bees and Wedded Bliss

It's been a while since I've done a Bee Post! But it's time now! And I'm sure this post will be far more popular than my gripping last post on bio-fertilizer. Yep.

I was so delighted (yes, maybe a little over-excited!) when we arrived back home to see that bees had taken up residency in my two hives at the bottom of the garden, but I was a little nervous to investigate much further. I wasn't sure what I was looking for in there and wasn't sure how to go about looking even if I knew what I was looking for. Things seemed great from the outside and I was content to think (albeit naively) that it was just as great on the inside!
Our friend, Innocent (a beekeeper in Kigoma) came over one evening this week and together, in wellies, he and I made our way in the dark, down to the hives. We had a torch and a long piece of wire. Innocent ever so slowly and very gently poked the wire through the holes in the hive to determine the honeycomb situation inside.

I was relieved we didn't have to take the hive out of the tree and remove the roof and top bars. We didn't need my smoker or even my hat. I admit I was a bit disappointed not to wear my hat, but when Innocent laughed at my suggestion to put it on, I thought I should just act cool and carry on. But even without my beekeeper hat, I immediately caught Innocent's contagious excitement as he exclaimed in amazement at the number of bees and the activity going on! And then again when we checked the second hive! Awesome!

Innocent poking carefully in the hive (I was chief torch-bearer)
We trekked happily back up to the house where Tim was sitting comfortably in the candlelight and told him all about it.  Hives bursting with bees, and buckets full of honey and plenty of beeswax for industrious mamas on the way! I am geared up with anticipation for harvesting the honey in possibly just six weeks! And all on track for our bee projects starting in villages in February! Buzzing with excitement! Tim managed to show five minutes worth of enthusiasm, but then I could tell there was only so much bee passion he could take. He tried to tell me he was excited on the inside, but I could tell it was time to stop buzzing out loud!

The other buzz of excitement this week was celebrating our fourteenth wedding anniversary! I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and our years of adventure spread across our three continents! He treated me to a lovely lunch out at Hotel Tilapia, with a long, lingering proper coffee. Bliss.
Coffee with a view!

Coconut Paneer, Honey shredded Beef, Rice and Naan
And later on, as darkness fell, we enjoyed a romantic candlelit evening, courtesy of TANESCO, the electricity company! But it crossed my mind to wonder if we would ever make the effort to do this candlelight thing on purpose! It seems rather odd to me now that people would light a candle when they have electricity!

This week has been a bit of write-off for power! We had none on Monday but some in the evening and then in the day on Tuesday. But then aside from a few hours in the middle of the night we didn't get any again until Thursday at 10pm. I wondered what to do! Should I start doing laundry, or bake some cookies and do some ironing? In the end, I just happily had a hot shower and went to bed. Not very industrious, but what were my priorities? It was a shaky off-on-off-on start on Friday (not good for cake-making) and then off again Friday night and Saturday and still off now on Saturday evening! Word has it that all will be well on October 10th. But I'm not holding my breath!

And as I bring this post to a close, this week Joseph built a shelter for the small seedling nursery we are starting here at home. We planted moringa, jatropha and a few other seeds and settled them safely in their banda. We will add a variety of trees to our small collection and with Bahati Daudi's nursery, put all to good use in the agricultural and tree planting work. So wonderful to watch things grow... in more ways than one!
The Seedling Banda

Some previous bee posts!

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