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  • Writer's pictureThomas Gubler

New residents in Afghanistan

To understand the title, a little explanation is needed first. I did not disappear overnight to another country, but still live on my beautiful land in Sicily. The name Afghanistan was coined by my father, who used it to aptly characterise a slope on my land overgrown with blackberries and with an inaccessible hut shaded by a large pine tree. With regular care, Afghanistan is now turning more and more into a small paradise with orange and lemon trees and many other fruit trees, interspersed of course always with the obligatory oaks.

The wild bees, which are numerous in Afghanistan, have been joined by a colony of Buckfast honey bees. How? On 19 May 2021, a huge swarm of bees settled on the edge of the roof of a neighbouring house in the middle of the village. Having kept bees in Switzerland for many years until I emigrated, I still had a bee veil I had brought with me to Sicily. For an hour I fought an inner battle whether I should start keeping bees again or not. The time argument was clearly against it. But love was stronger and that same evening the successfully captured swarm of bees had already found its new home in Afghanistan. Rarely was I happier than that evening, how much I had missed the bees.

The colony is developing splendidly, a beekeeper friend introduces me to the peculiarities of Sicilian beekeeping in a completely different climate than in Switzerland. This year we don't have our own honey yet, because the one colony is to become two or three colonies, which need their honey for themselves.

The bee colonies in this region are gentle and not aggressive.


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