Theon Ali an interview with a beekeeper
In honor of World Beekeeping Day and due to the fact that honey and bees are two of my favorite things, I got in touch with Theon Ali, a Jamaican beekeeper, who kindly agreed to be interviewed about his work as a beekeeper. In this section, Theon Ali discusses his life as a beekeeper and offers advice on how to consume honey in a manner that is conscientious of the environment.
Now let’s move on to the questions!
1. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the beekeeping industry?
Hello, my name is Theon Ali, and I was born and raised in Jamaica. When I was 23 years old and watching a documentary about bees and their society and importance, and as a result, I “unconsciously” became a beekeeper at that time. I got my start in beekeeping by offering my assistance to a local beekeeper who was harvesting his honey. I went out and got some swarms on my own and then began up some beehives.
2. Can you describe an average day in the life of a beekeeper? Does it differ depending on the time of year?
Everything is going to rely on how many beehives you have to take care of. Because I only have 17 beehives at the moment, I am focusing more of my efforts on product development (honey bee items). Honey is generally harvested from September through May, with the harvest being suspended during the winter months (June through the end of August). It’s not the same in other parts of the country.
3. Can you tell me the benefits and drawbacks of having bees in your home? Do you ever get stung?
Keeping bees, the primary benefit of which is contributing to the process of pollination, does not appear to have any drawbacks, in my view. The answer is yes, beekeepers do get stung on a regular basis. I always take precautions by carrying antihistamines and an EpiPen with me and wearing protective gear (PPE).
4. Could you tell me about the bees that you keep?
I keep European bees but I also have several bee hotels for the stunning Jamaican Native bees, which are essential for the pollination of our plants.
5. Does it ever happen that bees in the apiary get hurt, and in connection with this, what would be considered a good practice in terms of how the bees are handled?
Yes, it is true that there are occasions when some of the bees sustain injuries, most notably when they are transported or when they are required to be moved around quite a bit. The bees’ job is severely disrupted when they are moved. Although I do not relocate my bees, professional beekeepers that keep bees for the sake of honey production are required to do so rather frequently throughout the year, which is really bad for the bees.
6. If someone wanted to keep bees, what kind of guidance would you give them?
Beekeeping must revolve around the bees rather than the people doing it. It is your duty as a beekeeper to look out for the health and happiness of your bees and to do everything in your power to ensure that they are able to thrive. Helping the bees stay healthy and ensuring they can continue to pollinate flowers and plants is the most essential part of beekeeping. The production of honey is a tertiary endeavor.
7. As honey users who are also concerned about the environment, should we be aware of anything specific when we go to the store to get honey?
This is a very interesting question. In my opinion, the most effective approach to purchase honey is to do it from a vendor that is located as close to you as possible. It’s a smart idea to pay a visit to an apiary. In addition to this, it is essential to confirm that the beekeeper has been appropriately educated and registered.
In the same way that different places produce honey with varying levels of quality and microbial activity, honey is comparable to wine in this regard. Some honeys contain more enzymes than others and are hence more expensive.
Because of their high price and high antibacterial activity, I would not use Manuka or Jarrah honey, for instance, to add on top of my porridge because those types of honey are expensive. Additionally, in my opinion, Manuka honey does not have a pleasant flavor, but it is utilized in the production of cosmetics and medicines. The same can be said for Jarrah honey ( tastes amazing though.)
Some honeys are said to have a higher level of antibacterial activity than others, despite the fact that all honeys are thought to contain some level of this activity.
About Theon Ali:
Jamaica is where Theon Ali spent his childhood and where he was born. During the time that he spent assisting my grandfather in his apiculture company, he began to develop an interest in bees at a very young age.
As time went on, he became more committed to investigating the significance of bees to our environment and the eco-balance, and he was astounded to discover that ninety percent of all plants located in our immediate vicinity require cross-pollination by the most effective pollinators, which are bees.
Theon Ali identifies himself as an activist in bee conservation, which he refers to as a “bee guardian,” and he is convinced that by working together and spreading the message “We can do this!” we can be successful. “People need to know that what they can actually make a difference is by using their voice, amplifying the good news, and communicating the tremendous value of bees to nature and human beings,”
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