A couple of weeks ago, a warehouse fire destroyed a bee outfit’s shop at an old kibbutz in Israel. A dozen hives were lost, along with processing equipment and supers. The kibbutz was founded in 1934 by progressives from Poland and Croatia who planted orchards and made the desert blossom. The honey farm at Kibbutz Gat is mostly intended to help with pollination – Gat is home of Primor, one of Israel’s largest juicer makers. The pictures of all the wrecked equipment on the fire fighter’s website remind me of a honey house fire I once had. Or, rather, those photos show me what might have happened had I not been able to control the blaze. I was lucky, I was able to smother my flaming wax melter. If you jump over to the website with the burnt hive photos, you can see how bad things could get. I don’t know how many honey house fires happen each year, but I’m sure there are a few too many. A beekeeping colleague in Nipawin, Saskatchewan (Dr. Don Peer) years ago built a very long narrow honey shop: “Just in case of a fire,” he told me.
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