Bees That Fight World Poverty
It might sound airy-fairy, but there are times in life when the planets seem to align. It’s an uncanny and wonderful feeling and, when it happens, your reasons for gravitating towards your passions make themselves obvious. Travelling around the idyllic European countryside, I have had lots of time to think about my direction in life, about why I love bees and what they mean to me. And yes, right now with the planets in sync, I feel more aware than ever before of why bees are so important to humanity.
Therefore, you could say that in the past few weeks I have been in a euphoric state of bee bliss. World Bee Day– an event organised by the United Nations– showed me that bee-love is not reserved for fanatics like myself; it is an admiration and respect that spreads across the broader global community. But my spirits were raised even higher two days ago when I was made aware of a company doing the most wonderful work in the developing world. Bees for Development is an organisation that promotes beekeeping to combat poverty and help build sustainable, resilient livelihoods for the people that need it most. When I thought bees couldn’t do more for the good of humanity, I am happily proven wrong.
Founded in 1993, Bees for Development was the first organisation to fully understand and acknowledge the reasons why beekeeping can be such a useful tool for relieving poverty while helping to retain biodiversity. Based in Monmouth in the UK, the organisation has worked with over 50 countries across the world to help people generate an essential income to feed their families and provide basic needs: these projects are happening in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda. The company shows local farmers how to make and maintain low-cost beehives so that people can harvest and sell their own honey, turning natural and renewable resources into a vital livelihood that (if that wasn’t enough!) helps the environment at the same time! The company also carries out important bee-work for many international organisations such as the UN.
Alongside all this remarkable work, Bees for Development has a generous and ethical philosophy to sharing information (one that is sometimes unusual in this day and age). They provide free information to beekeepers in poor countries, with publications sent to readers in 130 nations. These documents share knowledge and advice, and the organisation’s website includes an open-access information portal that is the largest of its kind in the world! There hasn’t been a better time to support a more worthy organisation: www.beesfordevelopment.org