It may seem a big claim to suggest that beekeeping can improve lives, however we know that it does. Beekeeping can help people in the poorest, most isolated communities - here are our Ten Reasons Why:
- Bees maintain biodiversity – by taking care of bees, we take care of our environment
- Bees ensure good pollination: improving crop yields, and profits for farmers
- Honey and beeswax are familiar products in every society. They find ready markets, and generate worthwhile income
- Bees' products provide medicine too: honey, beeswax and propolis are used and valued by traditional societies, and increasingly by modern ones too
- Bee hives can be made from local materials - they can be low cost or no cost – allowing anyone to get started. Bees are usually freely available – we always advise to use local bees
- Beekeeping need not be time-consuming and fits in with time available around child-care or farming
- Bees find their own food by foraging on flowering plants, wherever they are growing. Therefore, beekeeping is feasible for landless people
- The products of bees: honey, beeswax, pollen and propolis can be used to make valuable secondary products - this creates income generating possibilities for more people
- Beekeeping allows income generation without destruction of forest or other habitat. Moreover, beekeeping provides financial incentive to protect habitat
- Beekeeping is the most perfect, self-sustaining activity. By pollinating flowering plants, bees are feeding themselves while ensuring food for future generations. In this way, biodiversity is maintained.
Our approach to development
We always strive to achieve sustainable change, helping empower communities so they are no longer reliant on outside help. To achieve our sustainability goals we apply the following approaches:
- We promote the use of local resources and we do not send equipment or bees to poor countries.
- We advise the use of indigenous bees. This allows the maintenance of healthy strains of bees and helps to combat the spread of the bee health problems.
- We build the capacity of organisations in partner countries, so in the long term they can take the lead in the development of their own communities.
- We know information and knowledge sharing leads to self-reliance and empowerment of the poor and this is a core focus of our work.
- We do not advocate one type of bee hive only, because we know the best hive type is one that is appropriate to the local context and local bees - always taking into account affordability for beekeepers.
- We believe incomes can be raised by teaching beekeepers to analyse and understand their local market environment.