MONDAY MAN: Gibson as busy as the bees
RUDOLPH GIBSON believes that everybody on earth has a purpose to fulfill before going to “the other side”. His purpose is not only to be a bee-keeper, but also to be “the best bee-keeper in Barbados”.
His job is not as financially rewarding as he would want, and he does not fancy the quantity or quality of stings he receives while doing it. But according to Gibson, once the bees contribute to the local agriculture industry, the side effects of his job will always be his second priority.
“It came over on CNN that if all the bees in the world died, it would be men eating men because they would suffer from starvation.
“Bees pollinate crops all over the world. And bees are the top of all medicines, for many diseases. There are 275 000 people in Barbados and I alone produce honey because nobody wants to do that. This is why I do what I do.”
During an interview at his Jemmotts Lane, St Michael home, Gibson gave the DAILY NATION a brief insight into his life as a bee-keeper and how he became involved.
“I used to do many different jobs in Barbados and one day, I found myself doing nothing. And I said to my wife that I am studying to do something that nobody else is doing. And everything I thought about doing, somebody was doing it already.
“One day my brother called me to help him remove a beehive from his yard. And I said: ‘Oh no, not me, I am not going around any bees.’ But I ended up going and helping him.
“A couple days after, somebody told somebody in Government that I was a bee-keeper. At that time, there was a beehive in [the] House of Assembly and they called me to remove it. The day after I removed that hive, people started calling me to remove beehives.”
This MONDAY MAN got what he wanted; he weaved himself into a career which was not attractive to many. But the amount of beehives he was called out to move from homes and businesses became too much.
“I got so much work then that one morning I got up and said: ‘I am not doing it anymore.’ And my wife turned to me and said: You remember you said that you want to do something in Barbados that nobody else is doing?’ And I said: ‘Well, that is true.’ And I stick with my bee-keeping from then.
“Here I am today, helping my country, and I am not changing . . . I will continue until I die.”
The bee-keeper of 20 years said: “Bee-keeping is not easy; any bee-keeper will tell you that it is not easy. You have to be prepared to get stings. You [might be] having dinner on Christmas Day and people call because they have problems with bees at their house. And I have to get up and go.
“If they call the fire station, the fire station is going to call me. If they call the police, the police call me.”
Gibson said people often asked him: “Who is going to take over catching bees and making honey in Barbados when you can’t do it anymore?”
He does not answer inquirers.
“I don’t usually answer . . . but I have a foreman and he is very good. When he first came, he was [afraid of] bees. I can now afford to send him to do a job by himself; he’s that good. If I am sick tomorrow, I can guarantee that he can go out and remove a bee-hive from someone’s home.”