Bee Happy

The Bohol Bee Farm is not on Bohol: it’s on an island called Panglau. Apart from a couple of hives that are used for demonstrations for tour groups, there are no bees. It also is not a farm, as there are no tractors, cows or pigs. Yes, they do have some horticulture going on, as they grow on site the key ingredients of the delicious salads that are served in the restaurants. During the Chinese New Year, the main crop at Bohol Bee Farm is Chinese tourists. This is a bit of a problem because I have the impression that the staff do not really like the Chinese guests. An elderly Spanish couple, on the other hand, seemed to be very popular with the Filipino staff.
The Bee Bakery

When we arrived in Manila, an internal flight took us to Tagbileran airport and then a minibus took us to the Bee Farm. It was raining and the Bee Farm seemed to be full of (yes, you guessed it) Chinese tourists.

After some greedy goose gobbling, we usually had a rest in our room for an hour or so, before the morning swim.

Although there is no beach at the Bee Farm, there is a Dive Shop and a sort of wooden jetty-cum-sundeck where you can lie on sunbeds. The sea was aquamarine and turquoise, clear and fairly calm (most of the time anyway). Usually there is a storm in the afternoon or evening, so the best thing to do is to get your swimming done in the first half of the day. There were quite a lot of seriously spikey sea urchins, so the new technicolour booties were needed. The coral was pretty good and the fish were so-so. We did see a couple of sea snakes and a few shoals of what were probably sardines.


A Room Without Much of a View












After an hour or two of swimming and sunbathing, we would go back to our room. It was a “garden” room, so there was no sea view, but it was a big and airy room, pleasantly decorated with lots of dark wood. Following our unsuccessful attempt to get rid of all the excess breakfast calories with some swimming, we usually had a rest and got changed before having a late lunch around three or four.

Our tour group
While we were staying at the Bohol Bee Farm, we had the official tour. The guide was a great joker, with a polished patter of oneliners. We had a look at the craft workshops, where the Filipino lady workers patiently smiled at us as they got on with their weaving and stitching. The Bee Farm does provide a lot of employment for local people and they seem to be very keen on “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, with coconut shells being used as a building material. On the site is also a small food factory, making ice-cream and various spreads and sauces, and a large kitchen garden, growing all the fresh ingredients for those delicious salads.
Blogger and Salad Factory

Last on our tour was a visit to the bees. Yes, there are two hives at the Bohol Bee Farm, but they do not produce any honey. The guide took out one of the “frames”, to show us the bees at work. And how many bees are there in a standard hive? About 60,000, according to the guide-cum-comedian. That is an amazing thought. So many bees working hard to produce honey for us lazy humans. And so many Filipinos working hard at the Bohol Bee Farm to give holidays to lazy tourists. 

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