Jara is traditional Georgian beehive – an ancient and primitive way of domesticating bees. In Ajara it still exists alongside modern beehives, simple in use and management. There are very few places in the world, where wild bees are used by local people and Ajara is one of them.
If before domestication of bees honey was taken from wild bees living in tree hollow, later people started to make similar hollows for them to live in.
They made a beehive from long log or large tree bark, and called it Jara or Gedja. A new colony of bees was settled into it, after which it was placed in a spot inaccessible for predators, in a tree or on a rock. During the whole year the bees were taken care of, protected from predators and so on.
There are not very many places in the world where the gedja bee-keeping still exists. Honey from jara is taken only once, in the period of June 10 -15. Jara is a horizontal, beehive, so the temperature inside it is 1-2 degrees higher than in common hives. This accelerates the development of bees and the reproduction of the colony.
While the colony in a common beehive may not divide itself even once, the one in a jara may get divided two or three times during 10-15 days.
Nevertheless, the bee-keeper cannot place artificial honeycomb in jara, so the bees build it entirely themselves. During this process they use tens of kilos of honey, thus decreasing productivity.