您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 文化 >> 正文

埃塞俄比亚奇观:挂在树顶上的蜂箱

更新时间:2018-2-20 9:51:54 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

The last beekeepers of Ethiopia's Harenna Forest
埃塞俄比亚奇观:挂在树顶上的蜂箱

The sun was beginning its evening dip as I set off into the Harenna Forest. Strange tubular shapes glowed in the treetops, catching the pale golden light.

我动身进入哈莱纳森林时,天色已近黄昏。落日金色的余晖穿过树梢,形成奇怪的管状光晕。

Wedged between branches, they looked like elongated wine barrels or giant cocoons.

它们夹在枝条中间,看起来像细长的酒桶,又像巨大的蚕茧。

I was en route to witness a unique honey harvest in the forest. Here, on the southern slopes of Bale Mountains National Park in south-east Ethiopia, hand-carved beehives are placed high in the tree canopies. Reaching them to retrieve the sweet, sticky nectar is arduous – and often dangerous.

我此行是为了见证这个森林里独有的蜂蜜采收过程。这里是埃塞俄比亚东南部的贝尔山国家公园(Bale Mountains National Park),在这个南坡上,手工雕刻的蜂箱放在高高的树冠上。靠近蜂箱去取回那甘甜而粘稠的琼浆是一件艰苦的工作,而且往往伴随风险。

Local guide Ziyad and I followed beekeeper Said over a flower-strewn meadow before being swallowed into a tangle of trees.

我和当地导游齐亚德(Ziyad)跟随养蜂人赛义德(Said),先经过一片开满鲜花的草地,然后进入盘根错节的茂密森林。

The Harenna Forest is straight out of a children’s storybook. Giant heather and fig trees, elegantly clothed in emerald moss, stretch out their branches as though frozen mid-dance. Black-maned lions roam the area, which is also home to olive baboons, warthogs and endangered Bale monkeys. On our walk, a white-cheeked turaco fixed us with its orange-rimmed eye, striking against pickle-green plumage.

哈莱纳森林正如童话故事中描绘的那样,巨大的石南和无花果树被鲜绿的青苔包裹着,优雅地伸出它们的枝条,犹如凝固的舞姿。该地区是黑鬃狮的徜徉之所,也是绿狒狒、疣猪和濒危的贝尔猴的家园。在路上,一只白脸颊的蕉鹃盯着我们,有橘色边缘的眼睛在咸菜绿色羽毛的映衬下格外醒目。

Said began preparations, gathering handfuls of moss and lichen, wrapping the bundle with twine and lighting it to create a glowing bouquet for smoking out the bees.

赛义德开始做准备工作。他采了几捧苔藓和地衣,用麻线扎成一束并点燃,成了一个缓慢燃烧的火把,好把蜜蜂熏出来。

A curious colobus monkey watched nearby as Said scaled the Hagenia abyssinica, a native tree whose sturdy branches and vast, umbrella-shaped crown provides a secure, sheltered home for the hives. He was barefoot and equipped with a single rope – a luxury not all local beekeepers can afford.

一只好奇的疣猴在附近观望。赛义德爬上一棵苦苏树,这种本地树木有结实的树枝和巨大的伞状树冠,为蜂箱提供了安全的庇护所。他赤着脚,还背着一大捆粗绳子——这在当地算是奢侈品,不是所有当地养蜂人都买得起。

He shimmied up a few metres at a time, pausing every few minutes to loop the rope higher up the broad trunk. The hive was around 20m above the ground. Finally, straddling a branch, he inched towards it and blew smoke from his mossy torch into a tiny hole in the hive, releasing a flurry of glowing embers into the air.

他一次爬几米远,每隔几分钟停一下,把绳子绕在粗壮的树干上靠上一点的位置。蜂箱在地面上方大约20米的地方。最后,他跨过一根树枝,向着蜂箱慢慢挪动,把苔藓火把冒出的烟从蜂箱上的一个小孔吹进去,发着红光的余烬在空中飞舞。

Said is one of a handful of beekeepers to still use this ancient method of beekeeping. While other parts of Ethiopia are moving to more modern production, the 600 families of the Harenna Forest are reluctant to abandon techniques honed over generations.

赛义德是沿用这种古老的养蜂法的少数养蜂人之一。当埃塞俄比亚的其他地方正在转向更现代化的生产方式时,居住在哈莱纳森林的600个家庭不愿放弃世代磨炼的技艺。

Their hives are made from the hollowed-out trunks of dead trees, carved in two canoe shapes and woven together with strips of bamboo. Before being suspended in the treetops, they are smoked over a fire stoked with beeswax and moss, infusing them with an aroma that attracts the queen.

他们的蜂箱是用枯树的树干挖空制成的,雕成两条独木舟形状,并用竹条编在一起。蜂箱在挂上树梢之前,先在火上用蜂蜡和苔藓熏制,灌入一种能吸引蜂后的香气。

It takes three days to make a hive, and two people to winch it high in the trees. Once there, each can last up to eight years, yielding around 5kg of honey each biannual harvest, usually June and December.

做一个蜂箱要花3天时间,需要两个人把它挂到树上。每个蜂箱挂到树上后可以用8年,每年采收两次蜂蜜,每次大约5公斤,通常在6月和12月采收。

After smoking out the swarm, beekeepers reach inside to retrieve the combs, squeezing the golden liquid into toughened leather pouches.

把蜂群熏出去以后,养蜂人从蜂箱里取出蜂巢,将金色的液体挤进坚韧的皮革袋。

Timing is everything.

时机决定成败。

Minutes after reaching the hive, Said released a sharp yelp. Within seconds, he’d slithered down the trunk and was back on the ground. It was too early. A relatively cool summer had delayed hatching, and baby bees – or ichs – were still curled in the honeycombs. The nibi, or adult bees, were angry. They continued attacking as Said stumbled away from the tree, shielding his face with a gossamer-thin scarf.

赛义德把手伸进蜂箱没多久,就发出了一声尖叫。几秒钟后,他已经沿着树干滑了下来,重新回到地面上。来得太早了。今年夏天比较凉爽,孵化推迟了,蜜蜂宝宝(或者称为ichs)还蜷缩在蜂巢里。而成年蜜蜂(或者称为nibi)发怒了。它们继续攻击从树上跌落下来的赛义德,而他脸上只围着一条薄围巾。

“Beekeepers often can’t collect [the honey], and then they have to wait for the right moment to go back up,” Ziyad explained patiently, painstakingly plucking bees from Said’s hair and clothes.

"养蜂人常常采不到[蜂蜜],只能等到合适的时机再上去。"齐亚德一边耐心解释,一边费力地从赛义德的头发和衣服上摘下蜜蜂。

Stings might be common, Said added, but this time he’d been assailed by “more than 100 bees”. This had happened just twice in his 10 years as a beekeeper.

赛义德说,被蜜蜂蜇是常有的事,但这次袭击他的有"100多只蜜蜂"。他养蜂有10年了,这种情况也只发生过两次。

With 70 hives clustered in this spot of the forest, Said comes from a line of beekeepers stretching back more than a century. Honey is the second biggest source of income after coffee, which grows wild here. They sell tubs of honey at local markets, keeping some for tej, a mead brewed with freshly harvested honey, water and gesho, a native species of buckthorn used to balance the sweetness with subtle, earthy spices. Every family has its own recipe, bringing out gourds of the wine on special occasions. No celebration is complete without tej.

在这片森林放置了70个蜂箱,赛义德来自延续了一个多世纪的养蜂世家。蜂蜜是这里的第二大收入来源,排在第一位的是野生咖啡。他们在当地市场出售罐装蜂蜜,留一些蜂蜜酿制蜂蜜酒(tej),原料是新采收的蜂蜜、水和gesho(本地的一种沙棘类植物,用来平衡甜度,略带泥土香味)。每家都有自己的配方,酒葫芦要到特殊的日子才拿出来。没有蜂蜜酒,庆祝活动就不算完整。

Leaving a forlorn Said by his hut, we trekked back to Bale Mountain Lodge, whose thatched chalets are dotted about the Katcha clearing, overlooked by Mount Gujuralli.

我们把赛义德一个人留在他的小屋里,一路跋涉回到贝尔山小旅馆。这些草顶小木屋点缀在卡查(Katcha)空地处,抬头就是古杰拉里山(Mount Gujuralli)。

“Generations have been making honey like that,” Guy Levene, who co-owns the lodge with wife Yvonne, told me. The lodge organises tours to see the honey harvest and is keen to help the Harenna beekeepers earn more money from their craft.

"我们世世代代都是这样采蜂蜜的,"和妻子伊冯娜(Yvonne)共同拥有小旅馆的吉·莱韦内(Guy Levene)告诉我。小旅馆组织游客参观蜂蜜采收过程,也热心地帮助哈莱纳的养蜂人通过自己的手艺赚更多的钱。

Levene has even been looking into ways to sell the delicately flavoured syrup abroad, while Slow Food Foundation – an offshoot of Italy’s Slow Food Movement – works with beekeepers in pockets of Ethiopia to help increase production, providing bigger, grounded hives and modern machinery to extract honey from the comb.

莱韦内甚至一直在研究如何在国外销售这种美味的糖浆,意大利慢食运动的一个分支机构慢食基金会在与埃塞俄比亚的一些养蜂人合作,帮助提高产量,提供较大的地面蜂箱和从蜂巢中提取蜂蜜的现代化设备。

Here in Harenna, however, beekeepers are reluctant to abandon generations of tradition, no matter how labour intensive, and hazardous, it might be.

然而,哈莱纳这里的养蜂人不管花费多少劳力,面临多少危险,就是不愿放弃世世代代的传统。

There is method in the madness. Placing the intricate hives high atop trees increases the bees’ chances of finding them as they zigzag through the forest. The height also creates distance from creatures that might disturb the hives and snaffle the contents, such as snuffling honey badgers. A few trees wear scraps of metal, like armour, for extra protection from tree-climbing bandits.

这种疯狂的做法自有其道理。将复杂精细的蜂房放置在树顶上,增加了蜜蜂在森林里迂回时找到蜂房的机会。这样的高度可以拉开距离,放置其它动物滋扰蜂巢并盗取蜂蜜,比如依靠鼻子到处闻的蜜獾。有些树还裹上金属片,就像穿盔甲一样,增加了一层保护,防备那些会爬树的匪徒。

But it’s not just about practicality, or even profit. In Ethiopia, honey trickles through centuries of culture and religion. It features in 4th-Century Christian frescoes and tapestries, where saints are seen clutching bereles, the traditional fat-bottomed flasks used for serving tej. Lalibela, the town 1,100km north of the Bale Mountains that’s famous for its 13th-Century monolithic churches, even translates as ‘honey eater’. It’s named after King Lalibela who, according to legend, was swarmed by bees as a newborn, miraculously emerging unscathed. His mother named him Lalibela, declaring the bees had recognised him as a ruler.

但这些做法不仅仅是因为实用或者利润。在埃塞俄比亚,蜂蜜在几个世纪的文化和宗教中源远流长。它是公元4世纪的基督教壁画和挂毯的主题,画中的圣徒手握用来倒蜂蜜酒的传统平底长颈瓶。位于贝尔山脉以北约1100公里处的拉利贝拉(Lalibela)镇以13世纪的独石教堂闻名于世,它的名字甚至可以翻译为"食蜜者"。这个镇是以拉利贝拉国王的名字命名的,传说拉利贝拉国王一出生就被蜂群包围,却奇迹般地毫发无损。他的母亲给他取名为拉利贝拉,宣称蜜蜂认出他是统治者。

Honey here is healing, even spiritual. Folklore says that bees constructed hives – chewing wax until soft, then bonding it to create honeycomb cells – in the windows of Lalibela’s earliest churches before the first congregation in 488AD. They still produce ‘holy honey’ or mar, reserved only for healing – applied topically to treat skin diseases or, for internal illnesses, eaten by the spoonful or imbibed with holy water.

蜂蜜在这里有治疗作用,甚至具有神灵意义。民间传说讲述了公元488年的第一次信众集会之前,蜜蜂如何在拉利贝拉最早的教堂的窗户上建造蜂箱——把蜡嚼软,然后将它粘合起来,形成蜂窝。人们还制作"圣蜜"(或者称为mar),可以用于治疗皮肤疾病,或者用汤勺或加入圣水服下用于治疗内科疾病。

In the Bale Mountains, honey is both part of everyday life and a symbol of social status. Families with larger numbers of beehives and a higher yield of honey are held in high regard. Ownership is sacred, and theft of other beekeepers’ honey or hives is rare: if caught, the culprit is shunned by his neighbours.

在贝尔山脉,蜂蜜既是日常生活的一部分,也是社会地位的象征。拥有蜂箱数量较多和蜂蜜产量较高的家庭很受敬重。所有权是神圣的,窃取其他养蜂人的蜂蜜或蜂箱的行为很罕见:如果被抓住,盗贼会被邻居们疏远。

Spoonfuls are taken in the morning, the antibiotic properties believed to ward off illness and soothe the soul. Bees pollinate up to 20 different plants, resulting in a complex, perfumed honey. Nectar gathered from Hagenia trees, whose dusky pink blooms are brewed into a tea to treat tapeworm, adds medicinal value.

据说早上服用蜂蜜可以起到抵御疾病、舒缓心灵的作用。蜜蜂为多达20种不同的植物授粉,生产出成分复杂、气味芬芳的蜂蜜。从开暗粉色花的苦苏树上采集的花蜜被煮成一种茶,用来治疗绦虫,增加药用价值。

The day after the harvest, guide Ziyad took me to his village, Rira, a brief but bumpy drive along pot-holed paths.

采收后的第二天,导游齐亚德把我带到了他的村庄瑞拉(Rira),车程不长,但路上坑坑洼洼,崎岖不平。

Slow Food Foundation formed a beekeepers’ cooperative here in 2014, aiming to refine the honey collection and packaging process so a more sophisticated product can be brought to market. It’s a slow process. As in the Harenna Forest, Rira’s beekeepers are attached to traditional methods. Many families have hung their hives in the same trees for several generations. For now, the priority is providing and encouraging the use of protective clothing and equipment, to at least minimise the risk of injury.

慢食基金会于2014年成立了一个养蜂人合作社,目的是开山蜂蜜的收集和包装流程,以便将精品推向市场。这是一个缓慢的过程。和哈莱纳森林一样,瑞拉的养蜂人也依赖传统方法。很多家庭连续几代人都把蜂箱挂在同一棵树上。目前的当务之急是提供和鼓励使用保护服和装备,尽量降低受伤风险。

In the tiny village, we sat on plastic chairs surrounded by teardrop-shaped huts cladded with mud and woven with straw, as plates appeared from a tiny kitchen.

在这个小村庄里,我们坐在塑料椅子上,周围是用泥土混着稻草做屋顶的水滴形小屋,主人从小厨房里端出了一个个盘子。

Finally, I got to taste the dark amber honey – creamy, fruity and floral, with a whisper of smoke – mopped up with ambasha flatbread. Groups of children sat nearby, devouring the same.

我终于尝到了深琥珀色的蜂蜜——我用ambasha面包沾着蜂蜜品尝,口感丝滑细腻,果味香浓,花香四溢,带着淡淡的烟熏味。一群孩子坐在附近,也在大口大口吃着同样的美味。

Honey and bread is a regular after-school snack, Ziyad explained. Leftover bread is chopped up and mixed with more honey, then eaten in bowlfuls for breakfast.

齐亚德解释说,蜂蜜配面包是孩子们课后经常吃的零食。平时把剩下的面包切碎,加入更多的蜂蜜,早餐会吃好几碗。

“It’s always been that way,” he said. “Honey with everything.”

"我们总是这样吃,"他说。"不管吃什么都离不开蜂蜜。"

“全文请访问千亿千亿国际娱乐官网,本文发表于千亿千亿国际娱乐官网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅千亿千亿国际娱乐官网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表
博评网