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Bee Good

Jeff Garretson - August 27, 2015 12:58 pm

Bob and Marian Brandenburg work with a bee hive in Zimbabwe. Courtesy photo

Bob and Marian Brandenburg shared their love of beekeeping and love of God with orphans in Zimbabwe this year during a one of a kind mission trip.

The retired couple from Manhattan returned this spring with stories of progress – and a plan to return to the village in southeast Africa where Eden Ministries provides care for children who’s parents have died from AIDS.

“Beekeeping has been a hobby and a passion for us for a number of years,” Marian said during the KSAL Morning News on Thursday.

Their mission was pure and simple like the honey locked in the hive, teach adults in the village to harvest the honey for not only a food source, but to help in the medical clinic with burn and allergy treatments.

The couple tends five hives at home of mostly docile bees – but African bees provided a new challenge.

“We anticipated they would be a little more aggressive,” Bob said.

“We didn’t use smoke during our first encounter – and they chased us for about 400-yards.”

In time the Brandenburgs moved that first hive into a ‘bee yard’ and showed staff the ropes of caring for the bees.

When they return to Zimbabwe in January of 2016, the two plan to use bee lures to coax even more swarms in.

“We need to set up a honey house and get more equipment to them, so they can sustain a beekeeping operation,” Bob said.

The Brandenburgs are now trying to raise $20,000 to take the vision to the next phase. For more on the orphanage in Zimbabwe visit www.edenchildrensvillage.org

Bob and Marian Brandenburg will return to Zimbabwe in 2016

Bob and Marian Brandenburg will return to Zimbabwe in 2016

City of Salina