> A Beekeeping Legacy <

We revered our Grandparents,  they were a nurturing unit providing the foundations for an enduring legacy. As a child, I coveted my Opa's award winning Bee pins. Aware of my interest, my mother Lidwina gifted me her Papa's Bee badge as featured.  A small token of a  cherished  inheritance. Hopefully I can honor his apiculture practices, with my own approach as a Beekeeper, applying a modern twist of the wrist.

Our Maternal Opa, Franz Zaman; was a Beekeeping legend.

Established in the 1930's -1940's his Apiary was located in a communal garden in Amsterdam North ~ Bee's went hand in hand with his green fingers. These genetics have passed through the generations, manifesting in about a half dozen of us, who currently keep bees worldwide.  He  masterfully, tended a prize winning Urban allotment or 'Gemeente tuintjie', that was a delightful green zone. A buzzing oasis in my fertile young mind. He and my mother deeply instilled in me a gardening and 'Bee venturing' spirit. I do believe they would be so proud, that I am unlocking the key to this green heritage.

An interesting historical fact; During  WW2 in occupied Holland (1940 - 1945) ~ Opa and his Bees were commandeered by the German armed forces. Under duress he was forced to supply the Nazi war machine with his Honey. Being made of more honorable and sterner stuff, my Grandparents acting in silent protest....secretly making available their family home, to the underground movement. A selfless act during a perilous time, at great risk their home became a clandestine safe house for Jewish escapees.

I recall fond memories of a tall, patient and wise man, who earned a quiet respect. We understood our Opa to be an award winning Gardner and Beekeeper or 'Imker'. Pinned to the lapel of his jacket, were his prized gold and silver Bee badges, worn with accomplishment. The historic 'Bond of Community Gardner's, Floating trophy ~'WISSELBEKER KWEEKLUST ~ BOND VAN  VOLKTUINDERS' , is in the safe keeping of my brother, Harmen Vogelzang who also shares an inherent affection for Bees and their keeping.

With a grateful heart, I hold special memories of an European family holiday, experienced, aged eleven. Our Opa would guide us through the secrets of his garden in Holland. Affectionately named 'Pelima ', a composite word fashioned  after their three children; Oldest son Peit, Lida/Lidwina (my Mother) and younger sister Maria. I find myself the custodian of our Opa Zaman's  hand carved           > P E L I M A < garden sign. It currently finds pride of place, on the gate of my own rooftop Apiary. Established during the 2020 Covid19 hard Lockdown, in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The enforced 'quiet' of the pandemic, offered an opportunity to act on my dream of becoming the keeper of Bees once again. On reflection, I muse that perhaps it is they, that have taken me under their wings. Engaging as they are, their cooperative energy has uplifted me, through these unprecedented and challenging times.

Enduring memories of  super sized, award winning red Apple's and juicy espalier Pears. 'Jack's Bean Stalk' was a living fairy tale, growing in my Opa's European urban garden, supplying an abundant harvest of Honey and fresh, tasty produce, pollinated by his Bee's.  Always working as a team, their seasonal harvest would be transformed, by my Oma, Moeder 'Meul' [Melanie Vermeulen], in her cozy kitchen. With humor, she waved her magic wand, and turned out fine treats and heart warming family feasts. Conjuring sweet, treasured memories.

His legendary Bee's were also applied medicinally, to treat my Oma and many a local, who willingly lined up for 'Apitherapy' at the back door of their kitchen. Money was exchanged for healing honey as well as 'Sting therapy' and surplus crops. He carefully select older bee's, stored in a matchbox, specifically for the purpose of treating arthritic joint pain. Fascinating to watch, he would administer the sacrificial old bee, applying the sting directly to the painful joint, akin to acupuncture. All the while puffing on his pipe, the cloud of smoke, calming his bee's. He also helped ease the pain of many a sweet tooth, effectively offering us honeyed beeswax with a pinch of cloves, to chew on and plug a cavity or two.

Upon their visit to South Africa we greeted them with bunches of Protea's, as they loved the flowers so. They in turn proudly brought with them, an enormous prize winning red apple. With reverence it was temptingly displayed on a platter, for what seemed an excruciatingly long time, before being  fairly portioned between us. Wedges were cut with his handy pocket knife, the crunchy morsels shared as a palette cleanser, between tastes of his special Honey.

Drawn to him like a Bee to honey, I sat in awe as he discussed with my parents, our notorious  'African Bee's' and their defensive strain. Admiring of our smaller variety of Bee and their dominant healthy genes,  attributing that, to their high honey production. He discussed the Hybrid crossing of this stain with European Bees, but felt it was interfering with nature. Reasoning that they would develop a more aggressive  bee the world over. He was not far off.  Interestingly it is being found that our Bees and those with the Africanized strain, particularly in America, are proving to be more resistant to the deadly Varroa mite infestations, currently afflicting Bee populations around the Globe.


Personalize your hive by naming your Queen ~ We offer  an option to laser brand your hive as  seen here. Naming your special Queen Bee if you so choose.

~ Some interesting historical facts ~

Technology ahead of it's time. The historical 1920 Patent, awarded to Juan Garriga for his metal split cell, flow frames ~ designed to standard 1860 Langstroth Hive dimensions

Grandfather of Beekeeping ~ Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth 1860

Generic; Key activated super frames, offer  an affordable, auto honey harvesting option to the modern Bee Keeper in South Africa. 

Flow Frame, developed  by Stu and Cedar Anderson a father and son team from  Australia. They introduced their modern take on the  1920's split cell auto technology  in 2015,  also designed to fit the historic Langstroth standard

~ Visionaries ahead of their time ~

~ In 1860 the American, Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth, Patented his constructed, Langstroth Hive. Replacing the age old, Skep basket hive practice. Notoriously, dangerous, wasteful  and unfriendly to both Bees and their Keepers. His standardized frames and hives, designed around Bees, were practical and user friendly. Langstoth's concept was revolutionary. So much so, that it is still the accepted industry standard of Bee Keeping to this day.

~ In 1920 a US Patent for a flow-style beehive, was granted to Spanish inventor, Juan Garriga. Ahead of its time, the split cell, moving metal parts are strikingly similar to it's modern, plastic counterpart. Indicative that a truly new idea is a rare and valuable thing. Kudos to Australian father and son Beekeeping team, who reintroduced a timely new take on this visionary concept. 

~ In 2015 the resourceful partners, Stewart and Cedar Anderson, applied their modern approach and drive, Internationally. Utilizing Crowd funding to endorse their premium product. Introducing a no mess no fuss approach with their Flow Hives, designed to fit the standard Langstroth hive. A Hybrid of, which can be adapted to fit this industry standard. A long overdue, modern take on the above 1920 split cell patent, became current. With its introduction, a much needed, new 'Beevolution' is taking place. Flow Hive technology, as with Langstroth's invention, is here to save the day. It is a vital tool, in aiding the current Bee crisis worldwide. 

Locally, an affordable generic option of this new technology, is available. Endorsing and preserving our bee's, by making urban beekeeping user friendly. There's a shortage of thousands of bee hives country wide, as is evidenced by the prevalent, bee removals and rescues, occurring in our gardens and homes. The motivation, is to encourage and establish, a convenient cost effective system, that is safe for our vital colonies to inhabit, in their urban environment. Providing accessible Beekeeping in our backyards, will help and support our resident pollinators.

"If  the bee disappears from the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left" ~ Albert Einstein

Adopting a Bee venturing spirit is healthy for me and the Bees

The >PELIMA< Urban rooftop Apiary site, neighboring The Krantzkloof  Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal

 My young 'Furbees' tippling on medicinal  Buchu fynbos planted near their hives, providing for their winter foraging needs 


Created by designer and sculptor Helena Vogelzang  @www.helenavogelzangsculptor.com

Wearing her winter woolies...one of my ladies packing her 'pollen baskets' full.  Indigenous winter forage in my garden, planted with her winter needs in mind ~ White Leonotis leonurus var. albiflora - 'Lions Ear' 


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