Go to any beekeepers meeting in America and you’ll see a cross section of class, culture, gender and education. We gather, usually once a month to exchange ideas on hive management or honey production. Side bar discussions are devoted to pressing matters like the weather and how it’s affecting the local flora. Unlike today‘s polarized and combative environment, beekeeper‘s meetings are characterized by camaraderie and fun. We are brought together to better understand a highly organized and complex insect society – The honeybee colony. But how do beekeepers in other countries manage their charges?
We had the great pleasure and honor to host a former Albanian commercial beekeeper and his family. Musa and Sedate Dyli, along with their son, Denis (our web designer and owner of Pivofy) and daughter in law, Stella recently spent a weekend at our home. Dinner and breakfast conversations were animated as Denis and his wife translated Musa’s experience of keeping bees in the Mediterranean and the difficulties of beekeeping in then Communist Albania. Regarding the later, he spoke to how the Stalinist style of state administration nearly destroyed the countries apiculture and the resultant decline in agricultural production due to lack of pollination.
Out of the dining room and into the apiary was an interesting, yet unexpected experience. There was no language barrier. Nothing needed to be said. Give any good beekeeper a hive tool and a smoker then let him loose among bees. It was abundantly clear Musa knew his way around a hive. His effortless and methodical movements were calming to the thousands of bees swirling about. Everyone was doing their job; bees and beekeeper engaged in the timeless workflow of a bee yard.
Communication is vital to community understanding. Successful beekeepers depend on each other‘s knowledge and experience. Sometimes all it takes is a simple hive tool to communicate mutual values. Musa’s beekeeping skills and his stories of raising bees in the Peoples Socialist Republic of Albania left an unforgettable impression upon us. We truly hope he and his family will again visit our bees.