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Shalesh, The Bee Man Of Lautoka

Shalesh, The Bee Man Of Lautoka
Salesh Maharaj of Vitogo in Lautoka displays bees swamping his body at the 2017 Western Agriculture Tradeshow in Nadi on 9 November 2017. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa
November 10
10:07 2017

Shalesh Maharaj’s fascina­tion with bees has led him to be quite a figure in the bee industry.

Not only is his knowledge of the business extensive, but his rela­tionship with these stingers goes beyond the ordinary.

Yesterday, at the Western Ag­riculture Show in Nadi in Ko­roivulu Park, you wouldn’t have missed the Lautoka man who has been dubbed the ‘bee man’.

Bees swarmed on and around him, and not even for a moment did he get stung. This is his life everyday on his farm in Vitogo, Lautoka.

The 45-year-old’s interest in the honey-making industry began 22 years ago.

“They are what I consider to be a part of my life and if you love them they will love you back.

“People may say that this is life-threatening, and they are afraid of bees, what I can advise them is bees have other uses as well.

“They are used for pollination of vegetation and also we have used the nectar for honey which we sell in the local market.”

A man, whom he says he cannot recall the name, was the one who inspired him into the business.

“Bees are friendly creatures, who are also like normal human beings with feelings,” he said.

“If you intimidate them then they will hurt you, but other than that they are harmless.

“My family has always support­ed my business and they have also grown fond of the bees.”

Mr Kumar owns over 30 bee hives. In 2010 he got his first break when he won the Western Agriculture Show Honey Farmer of the Year award.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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