Rainforest Hive

HUNTERS OF THE ITURI FOREST – THE HIVECelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.Efe music, thumb pianoWe’re on a honey hunting expedition with a group of Efe people, in the Ituri Forest of Northeastern Zaire. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, tree hive activitySixty feet up in a tree, a bee hive has been sighted. Morayfu, a young Efe, climbs the tree to enlarge the opening to the hive with his ax. Describing the action to us is David Wilkie, an anthropologist who has spent years living with the Efe in the Ituri Forest.(Wilkie) “As Morayfu is enlarging the hole in the honey nest to see if there’s any honey, some of the other men are cutting up some fire wood to make a fire. The fire is essential because they need to make a sort of smoke pouch with which to, hopefully, anesthetize the bees. Although, it doesn’t always work.” Ambience, Bees(Wilkie) “Now that Morayfu has disturbed the nest, far, far many more bees are out, exploring and stinging anyone who happens to irritate them. So, at the same time that a basket of smoking embers and green leaves are being raised to Morayfu, 60 feet up the tree, the bees are becoming more and more common, and more and more irritated, down on the ground. ” “As soon as Morayfu enlarges the hole large enough to start pulling out honey, he’ll throw a couple of pieces of comb down through the canopy which causes a great amount of excitement on the ground. Everyone goes out and grabs these big sini leaves and folds them into what looks like, a baseball mitt and they’re all underneath the tree waiting to catch this delicious honey as it comes plummeting to the ground. But, one of the consequences of that is you also get covered in honey. There’s the toss up between do you really want this honey, to eat, and the chance of getting multiple stings from a lot of irate bees flying around.” Efe musicThis archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.David Wilkie is currently an Executive Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Rainforest Hive

In the Ituri forest of Zaire, the Efe people smoke bees out from their hives, sixty feet above the ground. This archival program is part of Pulse of the Planet's 30th anniversary celebration.
Air Date:05/17/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

HUNTERS OF THE ITURI FOREST - THE HIVECelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.Efe music, thumb pianoWe're on a honey hunting expedition with a group of Efe people, in the Ituri Forest of Northeastern Zaire. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, tree hive activitySixty feet up in a tree, a bee hive has been sighted. Morayfu, a young Efe, climbs the tree to enlarge the opening to the hive with his ax. Describing the action to us is David Wilkie, an anthropologist who has spent years living with the Efe in the Ituri Forest.(Wilkie) "As Morayfu is enlarging the hole in the honey nest to see if there's any honey, some of the other men are cutting up some fire wood to make a fire. The fire is essential because they need to make a sort of smoke pouch with which to, hopefully, anesthetize the bees. Although, it doesn't always work." Ambience, Bees(Wilkie) "Now that Morayfu has disturbed the nest, far, far many more bees are out, exploring and stinging anyone who happens to irritate them. So, at the same time that a basket of smoking embers and green leaves are being raised to Morayfu, 60 feet up the tree, the bees are becoming more and more common, and more and more irritated, down on the ground. " "As soon as Morayfu enlarges the hole large enough to start pulling out honey, he'll throw a couple of pieces of comb down through the canopy which causes a great amount of excitement on the ground. Everyone goes out and grabs these big sini leaves and folds them into what looks like, a baseball mitt and they're all underneath the tree waiting to catch this delicious honey as it comes plummeting to the ground. But, one of the consequences of that is you also get covered in honey. There's the toss up between do you really want this honey, to eat, and the chance of getting multiple stings from a lot of irate bees flying around." Efe musicThis archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.David Wilkie is currently an Executive Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society.