Beekeeping is among the oldest agricultural activities practiced by the farming community of Ethiopia. However, it is difficult to establish a time reference as to when and where it first started. Honey hunting was a common practice. Hence, during the honey flow time, farmers do go out to hunt for honey from wild honeybee colonies in the forests, crevices, cliffs, etc. Even today it is commonly exercised in extreme parts of the Northwest, West, South and Southwestern regions of the country. Beekeeping or systematic honey and beeswax collection as elsewhere in the world might have first developed when honey hunters learnt to maintain honeybee colonies in hives
Traditionally beekeepers keep honeybee colonies in simple hives made of local available materials. There are different kinds of hives based on the kind of raw material used for construction. Bark hives, woven bamboo hive, and grass or straw hives are among the some to be mentioned.
These hives vray in size from region to region. However, all are cylindrical in shape One cnd of these hives is left open to serve as bee's entrance and for the removal of honey in most of the regions. The larger proportion of the woven bamboo hive is concentrated in the South, South West and the Central highlands. Grass and bark hives are widely used in the Central highlands and North Western parts of the country.
All these hives are placed horizontally or suspended on top branches of trees, suspended under the roof of the living house, placed in two wedges shaped poles, in single or double deck hive Stands, etc.
Ghoudo hive (45c)
An extension is made at one end of the smaller hive using a support by a wedge shaped pole or placed on the ground on a flat stone.
Baskethive (l Birr)
Log hives (55 cent and 2 Birr)
On every stamp is a circle with bees as seen on comb
by Jan de Crom
taken from "The Postal Bee" 4/2002 and 2/2003
Contact Group Bee Philately