Sunday, 4 May 2014

Livlihoods - Bee keeping.

Bee Keeping

We will be going with 3 bee cages and bee keeper to the village this weekend. With a kind soul sponsering, another kind soul putting giving us the valuable contact, and a third kind soul offerring to train - we have to do the small job to reaching the goodwill to the people.

Village people are simply looking for work - to do a honest day's work, and to earn. And as a nation, providing that is all
our collective responsibility.

Transporting the bees promises to be an interesting experiance. They have to be moved betweem 7p.m. and 5 a.m because they return to the hives at dusk, and set out at dawn - wherever they are. And once they set out, they will return to the very same spot at dusk that day. So if by dawn one has not reached one's destination, one simply gets off and waits at that spot through that day till the bees return at dusk to their hives. And then continues the journey with the bees ...

And as reaching the village usually means 3 buses, a shared auto and a walk ... one simply hopes that the timings go as planned ...

The B story ...

As an 'officer' was coming from Chennai IIT to the village we decided that the beehives - which needed to be transported between dusk and dawn to a very badly connected village - had a heaven sent passage. Our usual mode of
reaching the village after changeing 4 buses, a shared auto and a last leg of a walk has to be a day journey and would not have suited the bees.

But at the last minute the 'officer' to learning of his intended travelling companions objected - most unreasonably. The bees would have set up a high pitched music at the back through the ride, but there was to be no further inconvinience beyond that. So we thought. So he did not think.

So Vasanta Kumar with four beehives had to find his way to the mofussil bus stand and take a bus to Tirupathi. As 'officer' was coming, we actually had a car that day with us ... and Nagesh was able to go to Tirupathi past midnight by car and get the beehives to the village with Vasantha Kumar, sans the officer who had earlier been safely deposited in the village.

I was very glad that I had left earlier with my daughter by bus - otherwise I would have been subjected to glowering looks and worse from Nagesh, who is convinced i always complicate life, from the 'officer' who would have thought we were putting his life in danger, and from Vasantha Kumar who was unceremoniously denied the car ride at the last minute...

But the hives reached because they were destined to (!), were installed, and then the village people took over with interest and enthusiasm. For a community used to rearing animals, such care comes naturally. This drought is against us, but one hopes and trusts that the best will happen ...

With the combined energies of Satyabhama Ramasamy who so spontaneously offerred a cheque for the expenses, A.m. Malathi who persuaded Vasantha Kumar and Radhika who put the peices together, the bees reached their new home.

Varalu will be happy if there is enough honey for medicines for her children, and happier if she can sell honey. As also Annapurna, Eashwaramma and Kala. We enjoyed the adventure of 'transporting the bees' !!

Dec 2014
... But rains failed, drought set in, and the bees were protected by giving them a sugar solution daily. Honey production fell by the way as did so many other things in the drought.

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