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  • Collecting Honey with Tio Antonio
  • Post author
    rustam engineer

Collecting Honey with Tio Antonio

"We are collecting honey tomorrow, do you want to come ? ", the voice on the phone is Jorge, one of our main beekeeper/suppliers. My response is simple, "where and when"?. Its 8.30 in the morning as we set out on a terracotta red, dirt road in the campo a few miles outside of the town of Tunes. Its already hot as the temperature is climbing into the mid 30's. Jorge is a genial, good natured, easy-going man, in his early 50's. I ask him whether he learned his beekeeping from his father, he replies "no, from my Tio Antonio". Parked in the middle of a  scrubby clearing is a red- diesel truck and standing next to it is Tio Antonio. Tio antonio looks for all the world like a spaceman from a 1950's hollywood film. He has the customary white bee-suit, but on his boots are fetching little yellow gaiters, in his hand is a n antique copper smoker with a little bellows and on his head is custom-made mesh helmet which does give him the spaceman appearance. Under the helmet is the cheerful, purposeful Antonio who informs me that he has been a beekeeper for 50 years. I stand back documenting and listening as he inspects the hives one by one, gently prising out the combs, inspecting each on, commenting on what he thinks is happening, whether its an old queen or a new one, pointing out drones in larvae, remarking on the honey, the quantity, the differences, taking some and leaving others. Its evident that to Tio Antonio there is a story being told by every comb he inspects. After a couple of hours in the baking heat, we head back to the vehicles and gingerly climb in, so as not to accompanied by a few hundred bees. He tells me I can unzip myself safely now and warns me with great merriment of what happens when you try and take a pee too soon after beekeeping. All in all a good morning work.

 

 

 

  • Post author
    rustam engineer

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