Beekeepers in Arab Lands
As a change of pace, today we have three short videos to share as we take a look at beekeeping in a part of the world we don’t often see mentioned when it comes to beekeeping. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, where two young women and a man love bees. These beekeepers have their own hives filled with these sweet insects.
Meet Bekita Ahmad, a Qatari Home Beekeeper. In this 2:56-minute video below by Mr. Q - iLoveQatar, she shares how she got started, what some of her challenges are, and more. A fashion designer by profession, Bekita loves gardens and bees, and nature gives her joy. She started beekeeping during the pandemic lockdowns, after she went with her mother to the agriculture exhibition and asked a beekeeper about his bees. The next day, she became a beekeeper. Heat and shortage of food for the bees are her greatest challenges. Beekeeping takes a lot of work, but she says it is very rewarding.
The 1:38-minute video below by Reuters is about Saudi Arabian teen Fatima Almelad, who runs her own beekeeping business in Al Qatif, Saudi Arabia. She grew up watching her father tending to his bees. He was a beekeeper for about 15 years. She admired his hobby and decided to turn it into a business. So she started her bee business with just one beehive, and now she has 50 beehives and produces 132 pounds of honey a year. She also sells her honey.
In the 1:51-minute video below by The National News, we learn about the legendary beekeeper of Um Qais, a town in Jordan overlooking the Sea of Galilee along the borders of Syria and Israel. This place is famous for its honey and has a rich bee population. But climate change and urban sprawl have threatened production in the area. Honey is good for the immune system, and the demand for honey grew during the pandemic times.
Yousef Siyaheen has been involved with bees since he was 12 years old. He wanted to know the bees, understand their psychology, and is fighting to protect their native lands in this area and plant trees for the bees. There are 1,500 types of flowers here and the honey is richer in vitamins than honey from other places, due to plant diversity.
These beekeepers are an inspiration, as they overcome various challenges like intense high heat, shortages of pollen and nectar producing flowers and trees at times, urban expansion, and other issues, but they stay true to their bees, keep expanding their apiaries, and their bees are thriving.
All for the love of bees.
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