Here and there: beekeepers and their stories
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
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
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.
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