Scores of beehives saved from the fires
More than 40 beehives along the Garden Route have been rescued and relocated over the last week as a result of the fires, according to the Gift of the Givers’ driven initiative, Hope for the Honeybees.
They were established following last year’s fires and consist of experienced and professional beekeepers tasked with saving the Cape honeybee population, said Owen Williams, one of the volunteers working under Hope for the Honeybees.
He explained that hundreds of hives along the Garden Route have been “left behind” as the fires burnt over the past week, which includes hives on private properties where they are hard to reach.
“We go into these areas, locate hives, and move them to a safe area. When their natural environment is burning, these bees can be easily eradicated and the gene pool of the Cape honeybees is diminished. It is critical for beekeepers to look after these hives,” said Williams, adding that the Cape honeybee is unique to this area.
“The bees are relocated and fed a nectar and pollen substitute so that they can repopulate and speed up the floral and botanical recovery through pollination.
Williams said that they’ve covered areas including George Botanical Garden, Seven Passes and Bibby’s Hoek in Rheenendal in the past week alone.
“We offer this help unconditionally, it’s for the bees. That has been the vision of Gift of the Givers,” said Williams, adding that last year’s fires had prepared them to carry out an efficient service at times of emergency.
“There are so many people with beehives who might not be registered or keep it under the radar. But out assistance is unconditional and the primary goal is the protection of the Cape honeybee.”
Find out more
More information on Hope for the Honeybees can be found on their Facebook page, or contact Owen Williams on 078 724 6425.
A rescued beehive is abuzz with activity upon relocation to Rheenendal.