We meet up with a family in Ħaż-Żebbuġ. Mark was fortunate to instil the love of the land through his grandfather and pursued his studies to now today become a faculty member at the MCAST Agribusiness Institute.
While teaching by day, he enjoys his free time cultivating his own bee colony. His wife Kathleen gives a helping hand while his young son Isaac is taking keen interest too. Hopefully Isaac will one day pick up the mantle and be a master beekeeper like his parents.
“Bees play an important role in our ecosystem because of pollination. My favourite time of the year is April when bees are ready to swarm. Bees reproduce by swarming, normally between mid-March and mid-May.
My grandfather was a gardener and I was always on his tail. Then I studied agriculture at the Agriculture College and I kept studying at University. I started off by following my passion and now I’m trying to pass it on to others. Now I teach Agribusiness. One of the subjects at college was beekeeping and I was immediately fascinated by it. When I started beekeeping I only had two boxes. First, you need the knowledge, then you learn more with experience and time. I’ve dragged my family into this as well, they’re very interested.
Bees are intelligent creatures. Before they swarm, they already have a destination in mind: a destination found by the scout bees. When they decide to move to their new location, they take their queen with them.
Isaac loves this place. Although he is only four years old, he already has his own beehive, bee suit and smoker. Kathleen takes care of the extracting and bottling of the honey. Honey is harvested in various seasons, depending on the locality and where the bees collected nectar. Maltese honey contains pollen grains from Maltese flora. If someone is allergic to Maltese pollen, one should go for local honey rather than foreign honey. Honey boosts your metabolism.”