This course will focus on the basics of how to raise the native honeybee (Apis cerena)- Thai “Pheung Prong” which have been raised in Asia for 1000’s of years and are very well-adapted and resilient here compared to European honeybees (Apis melifera).
While these is a very long tradition, Katrina Klett and her husband Heguoqing, who live in Yunnan, China have been operating a social enterprise Elevated Honey, that combined the long cultural knowhow of native beekeepers with more modern but simple appropriate technology to increase honey production, quality, and bee health. This have meant better livelihoods for the local farmers who also become more active custodians of the local ecologies their bees depend on. Consumers are then able to purchase pure guaranteed quality native bee honey.
The course will take place in the village of Ban Huay Krai, at over 1000 meters. This village has a similar tradition of caring for Apis cerena. It is also part of the Organic Forest Coffee Project and the villager practice organic forest gardening with coffee as the key understory crop. It has 2 ethnic communities living side by side, Karen and Thai (northern Thais) and is very rich culturally and in knowledge of and relationship with their surrounding forest.
This course is appropriate both for beginners interested to learn the arts of native beekeeping and to integrate these bees into their farming/ gardening systems. (Apis cerena is native throughout Thailand and much of Asia and can live from lowlands (sea level) to high altitudes (2000 m). It is also appropriate for those who have started to learn beekeeping whether with Apis cerena or another species and want to learn from very knowledgeable experts as to how to do this better with simple techniques and practices. In addition it will be a rich experience to learn about an organic forest gardening system and some of the many ecological relationship including the role of native bees.
Languages- This course will be both in English and Thai. The lead instruction Katrina Klett will teach in English. However we will involve both local beekeepers from our host and other native beekeeper from the North. Thus both to learn from them and for them to learn from Katrina and others, we will provide interpretation from English- Thai- English.
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