The bee experience is an educational and fun microadventure in Port Elizabeth for all ages.
Are you looking for something different to do in Nelson Mandela Bay? Why not spend some time at a local Port Elizabeth apiary, Apiarista. At the EC Meet Up event earlier this year we won an educational bee tour experience for four people. Being environmentalists and knowing how crucial bees are to the planet, and our existence as humans, we were so excited about this win! We shared this experience with two of our best friends, Kate and Mike. It’s probably one of the coolest experiences we have had in the Bay, and a place you should visit for sure.
Apiarista Bee Farm Information
About Apiarista (also known as Rautenbach Apiaries)
Apiarista is a working bee farm that proudly provides authentic bee farm experiences. Starting off as a small beekeeping equipment shop, the apiary is now home to a coffee shop with a garden space where visitors can disconnect from their devices and reconnect with each other.
Where is Apiarista? 4 Murray Park, Draaifontein Rd.
Opening hours: 9 am – 3 pm on weekdays, 8 am – 12 pm on Saturdays.
Facebook: Apiarista Bee Farm.
Apiarista shop and garden
Here, you will find anything you could possibly need for beekeeping, from equipment to clothing. If you are looking for raw organic honey, then Apiarista is your shop! You can buy bottled honey and honey on tap, and naturally honeycombs, noticeably cheaper than from larger retail shops. There are different honey related gifts that you will love too. Look out for Badgers Gold honey in the different shops to support this local apiary.
Sitting in this small rustic natural oasis outside the city, you can enjoy your coffee (instant or filter – supporting local roasters Mastertons) while listening to birds and learning about bees. We really recommend the absolutely delicious homemade treats on offer as well. There are tables around the garden where you can enjoy the sun and your cuppa. Take a picnic and enjoy the time out. There is also a fire pit and benches around it, bringing a great atmosphere for gatherings. It’s a wonderful place to spend the day.
Hands-on beer tour
Arriving promptly at the apiary one Friday afternoon, we were greeted with a friendly smile and offered a warm drink and homemade rusks (super scrumptious!).
Our tour started in the Bee Boma. We headed in and read all the fun facts surrounding the seating area. We knew that bees were pretty darn epic, but dang, the new facts we learned were mind-blowing! These little insects are true superheroes!
In the boma, we met Xander and Janice – our tour guides. Xander started with the basics, describing the workings of beehives and bee boxes. Being a bunch of curious minds, we asked a lot of questions during and after the presentation. Xander never rushed us and answered every question in an understandable way (they have school tours visit so everything is explained well). No question was a stupid question to him, and we greatly appreciated his patience.
Bee protective gear
After the presentation, we kitted up! The apiary supplied us with all the protective gear we needed. Each of us wore overalls, a protective hood, fabric inner gloves and hard silicone outer gloves, and gumboots. We were given a smoker, a knife, some mesh and a honey jar. Now looking and feeling the part, our tour began.
Hands-on honey bee tour
We headed out to the bee boxes that were on the opposite hill. Each of us took a different ‘job’ – one of us smoked the box, one of us lifted the box lid, and two of us lifted the honey trays. We then collected the honey. Want to know how? Take the tour!
Okay, okay, we will tell you a bit. We smoked the box to calm the bees before opening the box lid. Xander described which honey trays we should take out – full ones that the bees were no longer working on. After checking a few trays we found appropriate ones, took them, and closed the lid again.
A few meters from the box we began cutting the honeycomb out and squeezing it, collecting the honey in the jar provided. As we cut and collected, Xander and Janice told us more about bees, honey, and honey collecting history. The whole afternoon was amazing. For the rest of the weekend, one of us four kept mentioning how great the experience was.
We thoroughly enjoyed our microadventure with Apiarista, and we hope you will too. Have you done a tour like this before? If not, here’s your chance! Let us know if you have a bee experience microadventure in Port Elizabeth with Apiarista. Xander, Janice, and the team will have you feeling at ease in no time.
Thank you for being a part of our voyage. We are so grateful to have you along with us. We appreciate every share and mention of our blog with your friends and family.