The bee’s knee, a taste of Omani honey

Awad AlAwfi greets us with his beaming smile and invites us into the living room of the family house in Wadi Bani Awf. As we walk into the house we could see make-shift shades where the palm tree trunk bee hives are arranged, sheltered from direct sunlight.

We were treated with customary Omani hospitality, served with fruits, followed by dates and coffee as pleasantries and introductions were being exchanged. Awad, sitting next to his uncle, started explaining the traditional Omani bee keeping process; telling us about the different seasons and explaining the quality of honey from each season.

Omani bees are smaller than the typical honey bee, Awad explains to us, and are far less aggressive – a fact I was thinking of as I was standing moments later in my t-shirt and cargo pants, photographing Awad as he was removing honey from one of the hives.

The bees were clearly disturbed and confused by our presence and I felt them bumping into me as they were flying around franticly. I was holding my breath waiting for the inevitable sting that thankfully never came.

As we walked back to the house to extract honey from the wax disks freshly removed from the palm tree trunks, I expressed my surprise that I wasn’t stung a single time. Awad looks at me smiling and says: “Our bees are calm like we are”.

Read more about this story in Brownbook magazine issue 45.

Awad AlAwfi opening one of the bee hives looking for honey

Awad AlAwfi opening one of the bee hives looking for honey

Palm tree trunks cut and hollowed out, then stacked.

Palm tree trunks cut and hollowed out, then stacked.

Cutting out disks of natural bee wax containing honey

Cutting out disks of natural bee wax containing honey

Awad holding a fresh disk of bee wax

Awad holding a fresh disk of bee wax

Holding disks of wax before the honey get's extracted from them

Holding disks of wax before the honey get’s extracted from them

The colourful part of the wax disk contains flower pollen

The colourful part of the wax disk contains flower pollen

Collecting honey disks that are naturally produced by bees

Collecting honey disks that are naturally produced by bees

Awad presenting a fresh ball of Omani honey

Awad presenting a fresh ball of Omani honey

 

 

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