First Published - May 5, 2016 (By Pascale - Coffee Lover, Traveller and Mother)
Late last year I was excited to tell you about our new bee project in Guatemala aimed at improving the livelihoods of some of the farmers we work with there. This is a quick update on how the project is progressing.
You may remember we’ve been working with a group of ten women, from a very small village in Huehuetenango, they’ve been learning an awful lot about bees in the past couple of months. I’ve found their enthusiasm infectious and have learned a lot about bee keeping in the process too.
Our bee project focuses on livelihood diversification of coffee farmers by providing these women with an alternative source of income. Since my last update we’ve installed ten beehives (October 2015) and ever since our team of ten have been tending to the bees every need. They require a surprising amount of attention.
Genaro Simalaj, who works with Pueblo a Pueblo, has been teaching the group all the beekeeping skills they need to know. For example, did you know that you can only place a new hive either during the night or very early in the morning to avoid the bees leaving? Once a hive is placed the bees will explore their new territory in search of nectar improving pollination of crops and flowers. During the rainy season the bee’s will spend more time inside their hives (just like us it would seem bees don’t like to get wet!).
In ideal conditions they are able to survive on the honey they have stored. But our bees need extra food, so part of the training consists of how, what and when to feed the bees. The group were also taught how to make frames and then how to glue the wax to them.
It’s very exciting to see these women enjoying their new skills! The training continues and I can’t wait until our first honey cupping! I’ll keep you updated…