View Full Version : Cuban Apicultor (beekeeper)

Apr 16th 2011, 03:36 PM
We recently went on a trip to Cuba. While there we hired a taxi for the day with another couple to go visit a town off the resort. I had requested that we try to find a beekeeper along the way. I think the driver thought is was strange but he was eager to keep us happy so he started asking people. We had to stop at a few houses where he got out and asked some questions and he fairly quickly had a name and a general location. After another short drive and a few more questions of people walking on the roads and we arrived at a small group of homes/farms. The lady of the house seemed apprehensive but had someone go find her husband who was out working not to far away on the farm. While we waited i started looking at the bees that were visiting some flowers we made some small talk with the woman between my very broken spanish and the cabies broken english she said they planted those flowers to help the bees and then offered to show us some of the beekeeping equipment while we waited.

With in a few minutes Bombo (nickname apparently that we later found out means whitey) showed up grinning ear to ear. He happily showed me his extractor that he was very proud of and told me it was canadian made. He then took us up a farm road and removed some wood piled across the road as a make shift fence so my wife and the other couple could easily come along too. By this time the cabie was starting to enjoy it and although i am sure he thought we were crazy he was starting to ask questions and attempting to translate between us what i couldn't. He had even broken out heis camera and was snapping pictures as we looked at different things.

A short walk and we were at hi on site apiary with approximately 20 hives. We talked about management of varroa extensively (as we could) and about management of the hives, feeding, swarms, production, treatments etc. He wanted to show me inside a hive but he took the top off with no smoke and the bees weren't in as a hospitable mood as he was, he quickly put it back on but the two of us took a few hits and laughed about it.

We made our way back to the shed where he kept his gear etc and he showed me different things such as the queen cages they use and his veil and smokers, showed me drone comb and again talked about this to control the varroa.

He proudly got his wife to bring out a glass of his honey and we all had a drink of it, surprisingly to me he had never heard of mead, when i go back i plan to ake a bottle for him to try although i explained what it was and how it was made so he may already have a batch on :)

Bombo tells me he collects approximately 4 tonnes of honey a year and has 150 hives plus or minus in 8-10 locations. All of this with a hand crank extractor and a horse and buggy for transportation.

He told me he had friends from ontario and vancouver, fellow beekeepers , that had visited him in the past and was happy because he now had friends that spanned from one side of Canada to the other.

I offered to buy some honey that he happily put in a used pop bottle for me but refused payment, i told him he worked hard and it was only right, he still refused so i gave the cash to his wife and gave him a ball hat and some other assorted candy and items. We thanked Bombo and his wife for their hospitality and were on our way but i know for next time how to get there and he told us to come back anytime!

The only thing that sucks is the Canadian border folks had to seize the honey as it wasn't in a properly labeled container.... i know better for next time!

Apr 16th 2011, 03:39 PM
More pictures

Apr 16th 2011, 03:42 PM
and more pictures

Apr 16th 2011, 03:44 PM
Hey Scott:

Welcome home Buddy!
Somehow I think you probably enjoyed your trip to Cuba better than the trip we did to Moncton. The company was probably better lookin and no six feet of snow! :mrgreen:
How was the beer there?


Apr 16th 2011, 03:45 PM
and the final group of pictures

Apr 16th 2011, 04:09 PM
:goodpost: Thanks for sharing. Jack

Apr 16th 2011, 04:15 PM
Thanks for the posting, Scott. Beautiful pics. Now if we can just get others to do the same. It's a great addition to the forum. We do appreciate them.

Apr 16th 2011, 05:00 PM
Wonderful! thank you!

Apr 16th 2011, 05:02 PM
Thanks for sharing the pics !!

Looks like you had a great time and even made some new friends :thumbsup:

Apr 17th 2011, 06:22 AM
Great post! Thanks.

Apr 18th 2011, 02:51 PM
No problem All, glad you enjoyed it.

Apr 18th 2011, 07:17 PM
tested the cuban honey i purchased commercially and it comes in at around 17.4-17.6%

Mama Beek
Apr 19th 2011, 10:50 AM
Thanks for sharing your pictures!