On August 10, 2006 we went to visit the Sweetest Industry in all of Brasil. Flavio Carvalhos' Mel business in Águas da Prata, SP, Brasil.
Flavio has a second interest besides his painting. He employs an army of bees to produce the loveliest Mel (Honey) that you can imagine. The bees are starting to search for their new homes and Flavio is ready for them. Following is the story of his Apicultura. Enjoy!
Flavio's in-town facility.
He has set new or renovated hives around to attract the bees who are searching for new homes.
He sets several hives around so they have their choice of different houses.
Some of the "Homes" have a spectacular view of the surroundings. Once they inspect the house and approve of it they go back and get the whole gang.
Flavio checks a hive to see if the bees have arrived.
Here are a few hives in the driveway where the bees are starting to settle in.
Flavio makes his own hives using rough lumber. He paints an F on the hive so he knows it is his. He makes these frames and adds honeycomb from previous season hives to attract the bees.
These racks go into the box and then he covers the box, leaving a small entranceway for the bees.
Flavio has several different sizes of hives. The smaller ones hold about 10,000 bees and he has others holding 20,000 and up to 60,000 bees. That is a lot of buzziness!!!!
He gathers the Mel (Honey) in these cans and pails and brings it to the shop.
This what the raw Mel looks like unprocessed.
Here Flavio takes a sample of honey from a honeycomb for us to taste. This table is for cleaning the honeycombs and taking samples to sell.
What a treat!
Flavio takes the pail or can of Mel and puts it into the tank on the right to heat it up.
Then he puts it into the tank on the left to filter the Mel to remove excess sugar crystals. That is why his honey is so clear and clean and never solidifies in the jars. Just Pure Delght!
Next the Mel is put into these tanks. Note the low stool and the faucets at the bottom of the tanks. This where Flavio fills the bottles or jars with Mel.
Here Flavio inspects the new arrivals at a hive. The bees are tiny so you may not be able to make them out flying around the hive.
Let's take a closer look!
This hive is almost full and ready for the night ride to the farm. It is too dangerous to take them there in the daytime when they are awake and angry. Flavio has two small farms that he rents for his bees.
These bees are not purebreds anymore. They are a cross between Brasilian Bees, European Bees and African Killer Bees. They are very aggressive and very productive. Flavio has about 300 active hives averaging 40,000 bees in each. He has to dress in full protective regalia when tending the bees in the farms.
Photos by Urso Branco Read More, See More Photos and Read the Comments . . . CLICK HERE