We had a chance to pose a few questions to Munir Ravalia, a dentist, committee member at the Kingston Mosque, and an avid beekeeper, about the UK’s Muslim Beekeeping Project.
BH: I’ve read that one of the inspirations for the beekeeping project was the threat of colony collapse. Could you briefly explain this issue and why Muslims should be concerned?
MR: Colony Collapse Disorder was first noted in the USA where large apiaries (bee farms) noticed that multiple hives (bee houses–or the small boxes where bees live), were wiped out literally overnight. No one really knows the real reason and many theories are out there, but many say it has to do with resistance to pesticides. In reality, these things usually have multifactorial causes.
Muslims and all humans should be worried as bees are part of an ecosystem, so not only does it affect pollination of plants and honey production but it is a wider warning that we as humans are killing our own selves over time as we play around with nature: genetically modified crops, drug resistance, pesticide resistance, etc.
Another inspiration for the project was the longstanding Islamic tradition of using honey for its medicinal purposes. [Read more…]