Source: daliulian.net

Honey is the viscous liquid that is squeezed out of the honeycombs. To harvest the combs, the farmer scares the bees away by fuming the hives with a smoker. He then uses a knife to slice ripe combs (that is, combs that contain mature honey) away from the top bars; unripe combs are left in the hive until they are ripe. The harvested combs are placed in a press which squeezes out the honey which is then sieved to remove fragments of the comb. Once it is free of dirt, honey is stored in airtight bottles or jars and it is ready for consumption. It can be kept this way for years without fear of spoilage. Honey has become a staple food item in many homes food and as drug to manage a wide range of illnesses such as digestive problems, asthmatic attacks, as well as wounds.

Also produced from the honeycomb that have been voided of their honey is the Bee Wax. The combs are boiled for several minutes, and then they are removed from the boiling water which is then sieved and allowed to cool for several hours. When it is completely cooled, the bee wax is seen formed on the surface while water settles beneath it. Bee wax is used to make candles whose fumes when lit are said to have medicinal effects.

Propolis (Ida in Yoruba) is another product of honey bees which they actually use to seal defects in their hives. It is usually dark brown in colour but can be red, green, black, or white. It has also been proved to have medicinal effects. For example, alcohol in which propolis had been soaked is used indigenously to treat some forms of stomach ache. It is also used as a disinfectant and for managing skin burns.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer