In defence of cement
(first published in BfD Journal 79)
Jyothi Ravishankar, Karnataka, India
I am writing with regard to the letter from Mr Bola Adepoju, Nigeria published in BfDJ 78. Mr Bola Adepoja gave eight reasons why cement hives are not to be recommended.
In India in the summer the temperature is 37°C. My cement hive box has been tested for six years during this temperature. I have not had a chance to test it in other countries, which have different temperatures.
Reasons 2 and 3
Do not relate to my invention, so I cannot comment.
The total weight of the cement hive box is only 19 kg (see picture). I do not think this is all that heavy.
If the bees do not like the cement they will move out. This happens in wooden boxes as well.
Cost-wise, I can only write about India where a cement hive box costs a quarter the price of a wooden box.
My invention will not destroy the soil. Once the cement box is constructed, then it is permanent. The forest is the gift of Mother Nature. If there is no forest then definitely the soil will be destroyed. Bees can live only if there is forest. If we do not save the forest, then in the future there may be no bee colonies. For example, during my childhood, there were many Apis dorsata colonies nesting on the branches of trees. Now because of the destruction of the forest, after only 50 years there are few of these colonies left. We must save the forest now.
See picture below: honey is stored inside the wax comb and does not touch the cement. The cement hives are meant as homes for the bees. Many people also live in houses made from cement. I am surprised that Mr Bola Adepoju drinks water in the city where it will be stored in cement tanks!