The Value of Honey
Our Green Story ends with The Value of Honey; we can’t talk about bees without talking about honey!
Honey has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. The oldest known evidence for this is an 8,000-year-old cave painting in Spain that appears to depict honey gathering. Perhaps these honey hunters knew honey was more than just a sweet treat. Honey has been used as a traditional medicine by different cultures around the world. Several studies record how in many countries across Africa, honey is used medicinally to help treat respiratory disorders, stomach disorders, allergies, pain and wounds.
Honey for Livelihoods
With all these benefits, honey is in high demand in many countries, an opportunity that Bees Abroad beekeepers seek to tap into. Currently, Kenya imports about 80% of its honey, despite the potential to produce enough quality honey in country to meet about 85% of the demand.
It is important that, as Bees Abroad trains new beekeepers on how to care for bees and harvest and process quality honey, we also provide training in business and marketing skills. These skills are essential to successfully marketing and selling honey. Through honey sales, our beekeepers can generate valuable cash income that can provide medical care and be invested into children’s education and other entrepreneurial projects.
The Bees Abroad Approach
As we celebrate the “Green Story” of beekeeping, it is also important to acknowledge the sustainable honey harvesting practices we teach and encourage in all Bees Abroad projects.
In our previous stories we saw how beekeeping can benefit local flora and fauna, and one of the best things a beekeeper can do to “bee green” is provide forage for the bees. By encouraging sustainable honey harvesting practices, we hope to ensure a healthy bee population and a healthy, sustainable supply of honey. This means only harvesting combs with honey and leaving combs that contain the brood. It means leaving enough honey for the bees and leaving the hive cared for and protected. It means teaching beekeepers the best practices of processing quality honey and maintaining its value. These sustainable practices are at the heart of what Bees Abroad teaches, enabling communities to generate their own income through their own businesses and at the same time care for and protect the local environment.
Thank you for Beeing a Part of our Green Story
We hope you’ve enjoyed the journey we’ve taken on The Green Story. This month we have followed the bees across Uganda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, (to name a few of our project countries) celebrating their work protecting crop fields from elephants, pollinating beans and other cash crops and then pollinating and protecting trees and forests.
Today we finish by celebrating honey, this incredible gift from the bees. Its’ sweetness is enjoyed around the world, it provides natural health benefits, and it is providing an income to support livelihoods across Africa! As we celebrate World Bee Day this week, we want to thank you for joining us and invite you to support us by donating or getting involved in our activities and work. We are so glad you can “Bee Part of the Green Story!”