The International Stingless Bee Centre

in travelfeed •  23 days ago  (edited)

Having seen elephants, crocodiles, warthogs and monkeys, there remained just one creature on our “Unforgettable Animals of Africa” bucket list: stingless bees, of course! How long have we dreamed of getting up close and personal with these cuddly little creatures! Alright, the truth is that, until our trip to Cape Coast, we didn’t even know that bees came in stingless varieties. Our visit to the International Stingless Bee Centre would prove to be educational and weirdly entertaining.

Propolis

We’d seen a bunch of amazing things while in Ghana, including some which were truly unexpected and strange. But nothing we could refer to as “kooky”. Almost every place we’ve ever visited has had some kooky, off-the-wall attraction: the Parasitical Museum in Tokyo, a beagle-shaped hotel in Idaho, and the Icelandic Phallological Museum, just to name a few. But so far in Ghana, we hadn’t encountered anything completely unpredictable in Ghana — until the International Stingless Bee Centre.

The center is found near the popular Kakum National Park, but receives almost none of its tourism. That’s a shame, because our visit was fascinating. It turns out, we’ve been woefully uneducated in the world of bees. Almost every fact our guide provided during our 45-minute tour of the premises was surprising. There are over 500 species of stingless bees… they’re widespread throughout the tropics, including Australia and South America… they can be eaten for protein or farmed for their honey… they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, down to a few millimeters in length… and even though they’re stingless they’re not defenseless.

In fact, we learned that one of the smallest bees is the most aggressive. Let’s say you’re some honey-seeking creature, like a bear. You might be thinking to yourself, “What could be easier than taking honey from a bunch of tiny bees with no stingers?” And before you know it, they’re swarming you, crawling into your nostrils, ears and eyes. I think I’d rather be stung to death!

Our tour started with a brief introduction, and then we went outside to see some of the houses in which they’re kept. The Centre is home to five species of bee, and each is different from the other in terms of their size, behavior and nest protection. But even though some look more like ants, they are all bees; they have a queen, they build a hive, and they produce both honey and propolis. It’s the latter skill that most interests humans, of course, and stingless bees are farmed in great number around Africa and Australia. There’s just not the same risk. Our guide opened up one of the houses, and showed how valuable propolis is scraped from the interior; the bees generate the sticky substance to seal their hive and keep out light. As soon as he had scraped some away, there was a little swarm working on patching up the hole.

We couldn’t resist buying a couple bottles of propolis, the curative benefits of which are well known. This was an excellent little tour, and makes the perfect companion adventure to the nearby Kakum National Park. It was a shame to see the guest book, and realize how few people visit… if you have some time, please don’t pass this place up!

From our Ghana Travel Blog


View this post on TravelFeed for the best experience.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Very interesting thing you shared thanks for sharing this

Interesting. I live in Africa and I didn't know that they are found here, too. I know all about our stinging bees...

Where are you in Africa? Hope you didn't have bad experiences with the bad stingers!

  ·  17 days ago (edited)

The so-called "Killer African Bee" is overrated thanks to bad 70s movies. Yes, I have been stung, but not without good reason. Handle the bees carefully and you won't have a problem. Most wasp species are much more aggressive than African bees. I trust the bees far more than I do wasps.
But to answer your question, I am in South Africa

I like bees best, wasps second and hornets last!!! Greeting to SA!!

mmm.... I'm not sure about a bee museum, I might pass on this

Hi, @for91days!

You just got a 8.76% upvote from SteemPlus!
To get higher upvotes, earn more SteemPlus Points (SPP). On your Steemit wallet, check your SPP balance and click on "How to earn SPP?" to find out all the ways to earn.
If you're not using SteemPlus yet, please check our last posts in here to see the many ways in which SteemPlus can improve your Steem experience on Steemit and Busy.

Hiya, @LivingUKTaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #607.

Your post has been manually curated by the @steemitworldmap team. If you like what we're doing, please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider upvoting and supporting us.

Just when I thought sting less tiny bees can be harmless!

And before you know it, they’re swarming you, crawling into your nostrils, ears and eyes. I think I’d rather be stung to death!

This post has been manually curated by PhotoStream: The Photography Tribe!

banner 1.jpg

Congratulations, keep up the great work!

Join Photostreem DISCORD

Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @elsaenroute and earned you a reward, in form of an upvote and a resteem. Your work really stands out! Your article now has a chance to get featured under the appropriate daily topic on our TravelFeed blog.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

Thanks for posting through TravelFeed.io! You have received a larger upvote from us. We hope to see you soon on TravelFeed.io!
Posting through TravelFeed.io also makes your post eligible to participate in the travel writing contest by @invisusmundi where you can earn up to 100 STEEM! Read the contest announcement for more information on how to participate.

We are continuously working on improving TravelFeed, recently we relaunched our map and reinvented the profile introducing collectible badges and a scratch-off-map of your visited countries and posts.


Learn more about TravelFeed by clicking on the banner above and join our community on Discord.

Wow, stingless bees, i have not seen them here in my country. And i haven't really read much about them. I have longed to visit a parasitic museum.
But why has it received low or none of its tourism?

Posted using Partiko Android

Oh .. where are you from in Africa.… the world is full amazing things. Well, the parasitic museum is kind of gross, I guess. But we loved our visit there. Did you check out the article of it.. It's so interesting.

Congratulations, Your Post Has Been Added To The Steemit Worldmap!
Author link: http://steemitworldmap.com?author=for91days
Post link: http://steemitworldmap.com?post=the-international-stingless-bee-centre


Want to have your post on the map too?

  • Go to Steemitworldmap
  • Click the code slider at the bottom
  • Click on the map where your post should be (zoom in if needed)
  • Copy and paste the generated code in your post
  • Congrats, your post is now on the map!

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
@c-squared runs a community witness. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us here

So interesting. I had nnot heard of those bees either! You painted a vivid picture of stingless bees swarming up your nostrils! I could imagine them so well it gave me the shivers. Well done1

Just a reminder not to bother Bees, hehe! I wonder how money honey thieves had to learn the hard way!

Ouch! I can imagine it too well!

Very good post, nobody gives the importance to the bees they deserve, especially because they are the first pollinators of the planet. I didn't know there were stingless bees, quite the opposite, I've always heard that African bees are the most violent.

These were pretty harmless if you leave them alone but yeah ... there are other bees in Africa, that's for sure.

These were pretty harmless if you leave them alone but yeah ... there are other bees in Africa, that's for sure.

Hi @for91days!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 5.119 which ranks you at #1012 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 127 contributions, your post is ranked at #14.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • You've built up a nice network.
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Great user engagement! You rock!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

You got a 23.78% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @for91days! :)

@ocdb is a non-profit bidbot for whitelisted Steemians, current min bid is 1.5 SBD and max bid is 10 SBD and the equivalent amount in STEEM.
Check our website https://thegoodwhales.io/ for the whitelist, queue and delegation info. Join our Discord channel for more information.

If you like what @ocd does, consider voting for ocd-witness through SteemConnect or on the Steemit Witnesses page. :)

Bees are fascinating, methodical hard working. Intricate hives in so many shapes and sizes, I had not heard of stingless bees in Africa so this made for interesting reading.

The biggest bee hive I have ever seen was at the Victoria Falls descending down to the base of the falls (now on Zambia side was Northern Rhodesia then), the hive hung out of a tree at least 7 to 10 foot long. Why I remember this strange hive is my older brother was about to throw a stone at it, my father fortunately stopped that silly little hand before it became airborne. What ensued was a story about bees, why they storm, why we must protect them, yes lessons well learned.

Bees are so fascinating but can be dangerous .... and I'm so happy your older brother got stopped!!! Oh my, this could have ended BADLY!

Yes it could have ended badly, it definitely was another one of many lessons learned walking in the bush as a family.

If you are ever able to get to the Victoria Falls do it, it is still wild and open, even though now you have to pay to enter which did not happen when we were young.

It should be dangerous to put the finger or moving anything without any cover. We know perfectly bees even if they stingless. You made the right choice by buying that "handmade" propolis :)

Thank you for your contribution to the crowd. We are the Steem community project dedicated to empowering The Wisdom of Crowds. You can find more about us on our official website or whitepaper and you can support us by voting for our witness and joining our curation trail on Steemauto . We are also inviting you to join Crowdmind Discord server. Don't forget to use the #crowdmind hashtag and happy crowdsourcing!