Rabeea Hamda, the 6-year-old lover of winged insects- The New Indian Categorical

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Through Express Message Service

PALAKKAD: Rabeea Hamda walks a path that most others her age are afraid to even tread. At only six years old, she has a great understanding of beekeeping. When she removes a box from a vertically stacked hive teeming with bees and explains all about the winged insect, you feel like you’re the youngest beekeeper in India’s Book of Records.

Rabeea’s family has been involved in beekeeping for many years. Her father Mohammed Rafeeq was a farmer with Gandhi Nagar in Kothukurissy, Ananganadi. He traveled to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates two years ago and is currently working as a beekeeper on a farm.

“After Rafeeq went to the Gulf, I continued his appeal. Ananganadi panchayat and horticorp had helped me set up a 10 box bee yard on our property. Rabeea was a little apprehensive at first and watched us from a distance as we tended to the bee colony and collected honey.

Gradually she became interested. My husband bought her safety gear including gloves, jacket, shoes, mask, hooded suit, hat and veil. Rabeea also uses a smoker that uses coconut fiber. It calms the bees,” said T Salma, Rabeea’s mother.

Rabeea said she knows bee stings can be dangerous.

“Initially, my parents would not allow me to go near beehives, although I always wanted to be with them. They sensed my interest and bought protective equipment for me. I saw my parents cleaning beehives. I do the same by taking out each box from the hive. I also feed bees. My teachers are very encouraging. I have no difficulties and I enjoy it,” said the 1st grade student at Palakkode AUP School.

PALAKKAD: Rabeea Hamda walks a path that most others her age are afraid to even tread. At only six years old, she has a great understanding of beekeeping. When she removes a box from a vertically stacked hive teeming with bees and explains all about the winged insect, you feel like you’re the youngest beekeeper in India’s Book of Records. Rabeea’s family has been involved in beekeeping for many years. Her father Mohammed Rafeeq was a farmer with Gandhi Nagar in Kothukurissy, Ananganadi. He traveled to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates two years ago and is currently working as a beekeeper on a farm. “After Rafeeq went to the Gulf, I continued his appeal. Ananganadi panchayat and horticorp had helped me set up a 10 box bee yard on our property. Rabeea was a little apprehensive at first and watched us from a distance as we tended to the bee colony and collected honey. Gradually she became interested. My husband bought her safety gear including gloves, jacket, shoes, mask, hooded suit, hat and veil. Rabeea also uses a smoker that uses coconut fiber. It calms the bees,” said T Salma, Rabeea’s mother. Rabeea said she knows bee stings can be dangerous. “Initially, my parents would not allow me to go near beehives, although I always wanted to be with them. They sensed my interest and bought protective gear for me. I saw my parents cleaning beehives. I do the same by taking out each box from the hive. I also feed bees. My teachers are very encouraging. I have no difficulties and I enjoy it,” said the 1st grade student at Palakkode AUP School.