Bees and Their Keepers

For many beekeepers, there is something innately spiritual about the relationship forged between human and hive, and it’s easy to see why. Witnessing the work of bees up close is awe-inspiring.
“You can’t get any closer to nature than with bees,” says Emanuel Kwaslema, founder of Gecoso Enterprises beekeeping supply store in Mwanza. “So many customers tell me they go out for hours on end just watching their bees.”
Each bee in a colony has a job to do. The queen’s only job is to lay eggs and perpetuate the hive. She is capable of laying up to 2,000 eggs each day. Male bees, called drones, exist only to mate with the queen. Worker bees, which are all female, do everything else, from foraging for nectar and pollen to cleaning the hive. The average worker bee lives for six weeks during honey production season and will make only 1/12 teaspoon of honey in that time.
Urban beekeeping
Bee advocates have proposed urban beekeeping, the practice of keeping bees in urban spaces, to help both cities and bees. Urban bees have shown better winter survival rates, possibly because they are gathering nectar and pollen from diverse sources that haven’t been heavily sprayed with pesticides. Residents enjoy more fruitful gardens, and easy access to raw, local honey, as a result.

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