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Bark hives

Jairus K Musachi, Chilanga, Zambia

I am pleased to write to you about beekeeping activities in this far corner of our world, after being inspired by you and your continued support. BfD Journal is very helpful and educative as it highlights many issues on bees and beekeeping practice.

Beekeeping has a long and old record in Zambian culture and there are few Zambians who do not understand about bees being helpful to mankind. Most of the beekeeping methods used are local-style, and most commonly used is the bark hive.

Bark hive preparation

A tree is chosen with the desirable diameter and is then utilised to its fullest to avoid deforestation. One fully grown tree can produce about 10 hives each measuring up to 1.2 m in length. This measurement is used to allow the beekeeper easy access to the combs from both ends. The tree is normally cut down to get some wood to use as covers to the hive ends