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In Photos: Living Among Egyptian Honeybees

June 15, 2023

Beekeeping has been a part of Egyptian civilization for thousands of years; in ancient Egypt, bees were even the King of Lower Egypt’s symbol. Important natural vehicles, honeybees have been depicted in ancient Egyptian art, and the techniques to keep them have remained ever since.

Beekeeping is still significant to Egyptians today.

In fact, Egypt is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s honey exports, according to Almal News. These honey exports are also very helpful to the economy, since Egypt profited hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of honey in 2022.

Both the wax and honey gathered from beekeeping have great value and uses. While honey serves as a common sweetener and can have an antibacterial effect, wax remains a key ingredient in products like candles, metal casting, and cosmetics.

Accordingly, it’s important to know how to protect and deal with the bees themselves outside of apiaries.

While a fear of bees is considered common, there are advocates working hard to combat it.

Egyptians, like engineer-turned-beekeeper Mohamed Hagras are dedicated to raising awareness with his “Beard of Bees” act.

People can easily coexist with bees, and the proof is all around Egypt. Take the backyard of a Cairo home for example, where multiple colonies of bees have been existing completely out of sight for nearly a decade.

The hives were discovered by maintenance workers attempting to tear down a wooden structure in the garden. Little did they know, they would find themselves face-to-face with nine colonies of bees with three queens and three pseudo-queens between them.

Despite frequent use of the garden, neither the family nor any maintenance workers ever noticed the hives. There had only ever been one incident with a bee sting — nothing to have them suspect how many there were.

While the colonies have all since been removed to somewhere the bees can thrive, the fact remains that these bees were entirely peaceful for years, even though there were so many of them.

Today, honeybees face many different dangers. Climate change, deadly pesticides, and more threaten their existence. However, with all the benefits they provide Egypt, hopefully more care can be taken to preserve these peaceful insects in the future.

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