Here and there: bee­keep­ers and their sto­ries

Lebanon Traveler - - GASTRONOMY -

Jeam­bey speaks to bee­keep­ers across the coun­try, to dis­cover their con­nec­tion with bee­keep­ing, their sto­ries and the types of honey they pro­duce

Fady Daw – Fa­tri, Mount Le­banon

Fady Daw re­mem­bers his grand­fa­ther’s bee­hives in clay jars; the trade skipped a gen­er­a­tion and was taken up again in the fam­ily by him. He’s now been a bee­keeper for 24 years. Owner of Ado­nis Val­ley, a com­pany pro­duc­ing and sell­ing or­ganic foods, Daw be­gan bee­keep­ing in his sec­ond year of uni­ver­sity as an agri­cul­tural en­gi­neer.

Raed Zei­dan – Mresti, the Chouf

Raed Zei­dan never orig­i­nally thought of be­com­ing a bee­keeper, but af­ter his fa­ther suf­fered an ac­ci­dent, he found him­self as­sist­ing with the fam­ily bee­keep­ing busi­ness. In 1992, Zei­dan dis­cov­ered and gath­ered a nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring bee­hive, mo­ti­vat­ing him He spe­cial­izes in black oak honey, ex­plain­ing that Le­banese con­sumers fa­vor it be­cause of its mild sweet­ness and low crys­tal­liza­tion. Daw places his bee­hives around his vil­lage Fa­tri in Ado­nis Val­ley and rarely moves them dur­ing the year. For him, the ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion of Fa­tri en­dows it with a nat­u­ral wealth of oak trees and wild medic­i­nal plants such as thyme, sage and oregano that make the per­fect pas­ture for his bees.

Num­ber of Bee­hives Types of honey pro­duced Honey talk

80

Black oak honey Hav­ing com­pleted his di­ploma the­sis on black oak honey, Daw’s some­thing of an ex­pert on its prop­er­ties. “It is one of the most nu­tri­tious kinds of honey be­cause of its ex­cep­tion­ally high min­eral con­tent, al­most dou­ble the amounts found in lighter coloured honey,” he says. “What’s more, it’s richer in pollen, mean­ing richer in amino acids, as well as en­zymes and flavonoids, which are the an­tibac­te­rial, and an­tiox­i­dant agents found in honey.”

To treat a sore throat, heat a ta­ble­spoon of honey with ap­ple vine­gar or lemon juice for 20-30 sec­onds, gar­gle and swallow. Fol­low twice a day for two days. Fady Daw, Ado­nis Val­ley, 09 420910, 03 456336

Daw’s recipe Num­ber of Bee­hives Types of honey pro­duced

80

Spring honey and wild flower and this­tle blos­som honey; which he names jurdi honey.

Di­a­betic pa­tients of­ten choose jurdi honey be­cause of its low su­crose con­tent and milder sweet­ness. It is also com­monly used to treat stom­ach ail­ments such as food poi­son­ing.

Honey talk

Zei­dan’s recipe

A daily in­take of one tea­spoon of honey in the morn­ing and at bed­time treats asthma and al­lergy prob­lems as well as colds and in­fluenza. Raed Zei­dan, 70 309439

Photo cour­tesy of Gaby Nehme

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