This year brought me the opportunity to once again travel to Africa to share ideas with the beekeeper farmers of Ethiopia. I am thankful for the hospitality of the Ethiopian people and of the support of my family who took care of Peace Bee Farm in my absence. I want to acknowledge some of the others who are working to train beekeepers in Africa. Megan Wannarka is a Peace Corps volunteer working daily with beekeepers in Senegal. Stephen Petersen, Cesar Flores, and Ed Levi are Winrock International volunteers working in diverse regions of Ethiopia. Their expertise helped identify bee colony problems which should lead to healthier bees and increased incomes for the Ethiopian farmers. Daniel Kocha and Gemechis Jaleta are thorough in making training arrangements in Ethiopia, and they are both extremely knowledgeable of the needs and resources of the Ethiopian farmers. Johnnie Frueauff handled my travel arrangements with great care. My driver in Addis Ababa, Kassahun Wegayehu, was always friendly and ready to travel, night or day. My host in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region, Behailu Alemayehu, effectively handled the translation from English to Amharic. Driver Daniel safely negotiated the Blue Nile Gorge. I offer my best wishes to Selamawit Abebe, Demke, Teshome, Abeba, Fantahun, Abisu, Sefinew, Haimanot, Getenet Yitayew, Ketemau Melkamu, Tarekegn Wondimagegn, Melkamu Bezabih, Haile Dembosa, and Firewu. I offer my great thanks to Ato Gebeyehu who graciously took me into his home and shared his beekeeping experience with me. In my beekeeping training assignment I was treated with kindness by the people of Debre Markos, Embulie, Yewbush, Amanuel Town, the Machakel District, and Dembecha, West Gonder.
In today’s photo, I am dwarfed, literally, by the statue of Nelson Mandela at the gallery of renowned Ethiopian artist Lemma Guya. Nelson Mandela passed away December 5 of this year. On behalf of the Underhill family that operates Peace Bee Farm, I offer to all who observe the great religions, traditions, and philosophies of the world: Peace be with you.--Richard