Visitors to the Bartolomeu Dias Museum in Mossel Bay will now be able to learn all about the importance of honeybees, following the installation of a new exhibit.
The exhibit - which opened on 11 March 2019 and will run until the end of June - was set up as a part of a partnership with local honeybee farmers, H&N Beekeepers.
The display includes a sectional view of a beehive and explanations about how it works, a beekeeper’s protective clothing and a detailed explanation of the life cycle of honeybees. It also includes information about the important role honeybees play in other kinds of farming, obstacles facing bees and beekeepers today, and other information about honeybees.
Mbulelo Mrubata, Bartolomeu Dias Museum manager, said the exhibit aimed to educate people about the importance of honeybees, as their populations have been declining at an alarming rate in recent years. “We know that people kill a lot of honey bees because they do not understand the importance of their existence. The bees produce honey which is a healthy natural food for human beings and certain animals. It is stated in the history books that the indigenous people used to use honey for fighting hunger and diseases,” he added.
“We want to spread awareness about the importance of bees in our environment and encourage people to protect them all the time. We want to change people’s general perception about bees. People should know that bees are not there to sting them, a living can be made out of bee hive farming.”
The Bartolomeu Dias Museum recently celebrated its 30th birthday in February, almost 531 years to the day after the Portuguese explorer first set foot on South African soil.
Besides the honeybee farming exhibit and other important historical sites and artefacts, the facility also features an ethno-Botanical Garden, shell museum, aquarium, life-size replica of the Dias Caravel and the famous 500-year-old “Post Office Tree”. The milkwood tree is a national monument and is regarded as the first post office in South Africa. Its significance and name stem from the message which was left hanging in a metal boot on one of its branches in the year 1500, by one of the many Portuguese explorers to visit the location.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport works to ensure that museums are well resourced and able to play a role in education BETTER TOGETHER.