Culture Food

Exploring Bu Saif’s Bee Farm

June 6, 2015

I’ve always wanted to visit a bee farm and learn more about the bee kingdom. During the Qatar International Food Festival, I came across a small kiosk selling fresh, hot honey crepes and bee pollen from a local farm in Doha. I was intrigued to find out more, so I saved their contact details to possibly visit sometime in the future.

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A month later, I had the pleasure of hosting, the Dilmuni Couple, Mariam and Hussein from Bahrain. They stumbled upon my account on instagram and got in touch asking if I could give them a cultural tour of Doha. They wanted to embark on a micro adventure in Qatar for the weekend, so what better way to experience something different than check out a bee farm! Amongst other things ofcourse.

So the bees at Khalid’s Apiary are two types, some are imported from Yemen that could still be considered local and the other is a hybrid type from Egypt. The Egyptian hybrid bees are better able to withstand the Doha roasting summer and produce quality honey. Bu Saif is not just a bee farmer, but also an active businessman within the Apiary industry. He owns two cafes where most of the products are sweetened with his honey, Mr. Khalid owns over 350 hives across the farm in Shahaniya that he operates in, and another 150 in Saudi Arabia. He regularly travels to visit other farms for research and also participates in Apiary conferences around the world, representing Qatar as a thriving industry in agriculture.

The farm is strategically located in Shahaniya area due to the availability of the indigenous Sidr Tree. A tree that is hailed as Qatar’s iconic symbol of its heritage. This is due to its miraculous ability to withstand harsh dessert conditions, yet still remain rooted deep in the ground, allowing life to flourish and provide comfort through shade, medicine through its leaves and a source of nutrition for living creatures such as bees.

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Khalid Al Suwaidy (Aka Bu Saif), the owner was not in town to give us the tour but left us with his trustee employee Mr. Suresh. We were super excited about looking all badass wearing the protective gear. Our hearts were on edge while the bees were busy doing their thing. It was very thrilling to have them buzz around us so close and loud. We had to maintain our cool the whole time, and unknowingly that translated it into walking on our tippy toes to refrain from disturbing the kingdom.

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  • Alisha

    Hi! I am an MFA student at VCUQatar and wanted to do a project on Qatari honey. I was wondering if there was a way to get in touch with the apiary to ask some questions about the production of honey? Thank you!