As the world bee population steadily decreases, a serious threat presents itself to agriculture worldwide. Last year, 44% of honey bee colonies in the US perished, and with bees pollinating over 30% of the world’s crops, this is a serious problem to countries which depend heavily on local food production. Many people depend on agriculture for their livelihood in Haiti, and if the bee population continues to decrease as it has in recent years, many will suffer in the long run.
At the sustainable farm at Maison L’Arc-en-Ciel, we hope to be part of the solution to this serious problem. By implementing a fully functional apiary, we will set an example for the children of the orphanage as well as other people in the community, in addition to providing an opportunity for beekeeping education. The children who find an interest in the art of beekeeping will be able to receive formal apiarist education, further spreading the trade as they become adults and reintegrate into Haitian society. As the children, staff, and community learn of the value and importance of honey bees and how raising them can produce both positive economic and environmentally-friendly results.
We have already assembled two hives at Maison L’Arc-en-Ciel, and soon bees will be purchased and placed inside, and soon after that the bees will start pollinating the crops at the orphanage and in surrounding communities up to two miles away. Some of the children will be trained to collect the resources the bees produce, including honey and beeswax, which will be used to make a finished product and sold at community markets and in local grocer chains. Adding honey and related products top the farm portfolio at L’Arc-en-Ciel will expand the customer basis as well as draw people to see come and see the sustainable farm in person.
To learn more, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or visit our website, www.HoneyforHaiti.org.