My child, eat honey, for it is good. ~ Proverbs 24:13
The Chagas prevention and agricultural sustainability project works in remote rural areas. These communities are so isolated that Covid didn’t have much effect on their everyday lives; however it did keep many subsistence farmers from finding work in the cities during the dry season. Unfortunately, the country-wide lockdown made certain regions inaccessible, preventing program implementation that requires the entire year to initiate well. In dialogue with our partners, we decided shift our focus towards agricultural projects that could provide a novel stream of income for communities and be implemented during the later half of the year. This resulted in a new initiative: Beekeeping.
Once you've learned the basics, beekeeping isn't overly time consuming, but the honey produced can yield a high return. It has the potential to help farmers create a secondary income stream, generating greater stability for their families and teaching their children a new skill. Last year we worked in five communities and are currently striving to further expand in 2021.Through a formal partnership with some experts, as well as several local church members with experience, we have been undertaking regular trainings and carefully monitoring the hives alongside these new beekeepers.
Recently we arranged a field-trip with a large group to visit a apiary or "bee yard." Here a family of professional beekeepers gave us a tour of their vast number of hives and walked us through several techniques, approaches, and opportunities that were received with excitement and intrigue by this emerging group of honey producers.
This past week we harvested honey from an initial few hives with great success and look forward to similar yields from others throughout April. Naturally, this is still a pilot project and we have lots to learn, yet we’re hoping to see this initiative grow, along with the self-confidence and ingenuity of these new beekeepers, over the coming year.