THE BEE PHOTOGRAPHER

Éric Tourneret

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The Gbayas of the Adamwa forest still engage in an age-old honey-gathering method using a plant to put the wild swarms found in gigantic trees to sleep. The initiates, protected by armor made of plant material, climb up some 100 feet on rudimentary ropes and battle with Apis melifera adansonii bees, known for their aggressiveness. This honey harvest is quite simply spectacular, though the practice has nearly died out, giving way to today’s more sedentary beekeeping.
Other colonies establish their nests in the earth, in abandoned termitaria. At night, gathering takes place by the light of flaming torches, giving an air of a sacrificial rite…