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  • Beekeeping is a misunderstood art, says Chennai’s own ‘Honey Mani’

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    VishnuManiCF15feb2017

    Chennai :

    Chennai-based Manikandan calls bees his best friend! Fondly known among the apiarists (beekeepers) as Honey Mani, this apiarist maintains almost 25 modern beehives (artificial beehives) in and around the city and says that he does it for.

    Until 2008, Mani, like most people, was terrified of bees, because of all the reported fatalities. It was Swami Nathan, another beekeeper from the city who changed his attitude towards apiculture, he narrates, “In 2008, I visited Swami’s house. He worked at the airport and I was also recruited there to work in duty-free shops.”

    “I saw several weird looking boxes and when I went to take a look, a bee flew out!” After a week of observing his mentor interacting with and behaving around the bees, Mani decided to learn the art.

    “He was kind enough to teach me and also lent me a box with six frames in it (to house the bees). The hive is built over these frames with a strip of wax in between. I was intrigued and after a point, I wasn’t even scared. Now I can manage them even if they are aggressive!” he beams.

    After completing basic school education, he says he quit academics to support his family. “Later, I got the job at the airport, but I found my true happiness in beekeeping,” he grins.

    “When I deliver the beehive boxes to clients…the happiness I feel is indescribable. Especially after a few months, when I go for extraction, I have no words. I extracted almost two kilos of honey for a customer and he was so happy!”

    Talking about the dangers involved, he points out, “When you let your hand in to extract the honey, make sure you don’t disrupt the queen bee. If you are stung, don’t make any sudden movements or pull your hand out fast.”

    So, does he want to be a full-time beekeeper someday? “Someday… maybe. I am not doing this for money and you can’t expect to earn much from this. I am looking for a fulltime job. Beekeeping is mostly misunderstood and my aim is to educate people more,” he adds.

    To contact ‘Honey Mani’ call: 9750145565

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Roshne B / Express News Service / February 15th, 2017

 

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