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Feb 6, 2023 | Leaflets


In not a too distance past before the development of the sprawling cities and metropoles people were part of the journey through the seasons and their particular challenges, especially those people who were dependent on their land for daily sustenance.


Many of you will be aware of the fate of the beehives worldwide and in particular in the south of France earlier this century. Carol Drinkwater describes how the European honey-bee hives, the Apis mellifera, simply died off, collapsed on their olive farm Appasionata rather suddenly. These lifeless bees were thought to be the result of the use of pesticides, which eventually lead to the banning of neo-nicinoids and court battles with big pharmaceuticals. Many bee-keepers lost their lively hoods.

This following excerpt, taken from Paul J. Myburgh’s book: The Bushman Winter Has Come, illustrates the deep inner connection the bushmen have with nature and their environment and the extra-ordinary reference and skill they use when harvesting honey from a wild bee-hive.

When we consider ecology, we need to go back to cultivating a meaningful and knowledge-based interaction with nature which enables the survival of everybody and all life.

It is a long walk and we leave before the dawning of the day…Tso/tgomaa the hunter takes Gening/u, myself and Kamageh to where he saw the bees’ nest during the past summer. He says he had to follow the voice of ‘the bird who asks for the help of man’, and not she wait for his return. And he has waited until now to rob the nest to give the bees a change to build up a good supply of honey for the winter. We go northwards towards Kgoatwe, ever drawn by our anticipation…until the smell of warm honey, redolent in the morning sunlight, pulls us closer to the honey tree…a smell as wonderful as the first taste of pleasure. I am enchanted at how smell seems to hang in pockets in the air…following slow air currents like threads of colour, each with its own meaning and message…weaving its way into questing nostrils breathing each scent-filled memory into the back brain, which says instantly that this is one thing and that is another.”


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