Cookies

Bees for Development respects your right to privacy so the only web cookies this website deploys are those which are strictly necessary for its correct operation and which enhance the experience of our site visitors – no personally identifiable information is collected. If you continue to browse our website we will assume that you are happy with our policy and to receive cookies from our website. If you choose to follow a link to third-party website please be aware that other organisations may have different cookie deployment policies from our own. You can change your cookie preferences in your web browser at any time.

The specialist international beekeeping organisation

Strengthening livelihoods

The term livelihood is currently fashionable in development rhetoric as a means of gaining some understanding about the complexity of poverty. The livelihood concept encompasses a persons' whole life; not just the obvious things - food, income or work activities - but also less tangible things such as people's access to various resources, their skills and ideas, their standing within the community or the power they have to influence decision making. Essentially, people's capacity to make a sustainable living, their vulnerability and their resilience to negative change is shaped by the choices they are able to make based on their access to essential resources.

Bees for Development believe that apiculture is a feasible way to help people work their way out of poverty while at the same time maintaining natural diversity. Honeybees are valued for honey and beeswax production to generate income and medicines. Beekeeping gives some of the world's poorest people the opportunity to harvest commodities of international quality and value. Issues currently facing our world include poverty, climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, water shortages, pollution and urban sprawl and these often have the greatest negative impact on the most vulnerable people. While beekeeping cannot cure these problems, it offers an environmentally beneficial activity that helps people to fight against them.  Apiculture and strong beekeeping associations can help to protect fragile environments, especially forest habitats so important for soil and watershed protection.

The honey bees' most important economic and ecological function, their pollination activity, is often overlooked, misunderstood or taken for granted. Lack of bees is frequently an important reason for low harvest yields. In many areas of the world, bee populations (of all types) are declining due to habitat destruction, parasites, diseases, climate change and unsustainable methods of honey hunting and beekeeping. A well planned beekeeping project can help to mitigate many of these problems.

However, the danger inherent in beekeeping projects is to underestimate the risks and complexity of beekeeping and basing investment on unrealistic expectations or inaccurate assumptions or to fail to value essential practical skills and knowledge. This leads to disappointment and loss of trust. Beekeeping project design needs to be based on a holistic understanding of people's livelihoods, the environmental requirements of the bees and the technical demands of the beekeeping activities to be implemented. The close links of beekeeping with the spiritual life in many cultures indicates humans have had a very long relationship with honeybees. Where people are most successful in beekeeping they often have a great depth of indigenous knowledge and a sincere respect, interest and love for the bees.


Resources

4 documents and 0 reference documents found

3154

email us: info@beesfordevelopment.org or call us in the UK: +44 (0)1600 714848

Bees for Development Trust is the working title of The Troy Trust, Registered Charity 1078803
Registered Address: 1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth, NP25 3DZ, UK
© Bees for Development, all rights reserved