The Bee Project



TRAINING WOMEN TO BECOME BEEKEPERS

One way Haiti Projects is making this happen is to train women to become beekeepers. Haiti Projects is dedicated to increasing women’s independence and decision-making power. We have found one of the most powerful ways to accomplish this in rural Haiti is through employment and job skills training. Women, who are the heads of almost 50% of households in Haiti, are responsible for feeding, clothing and paying the school fees for their families, yet have little opportunity to earn an income.


Beekeeping is an activity that has been practiced in Southern Haiti for generations. The local tropical vegetation including Hibiscus, Campeche, and Grapefruit gives the honey a unique flavor making it a very desirable commodity.


BeekeepingAs charcoal production continues to deforest Haiti’s countryside, projects such as these are not only helping to create jobs and provide a sustainable product, but they are also critical to the health of the environment.

GOALS

1) Provide women with the necessary tools to become beekeepers
2) Train the women with the knowledge they need to become successful beekeepers
3) Support the women in making value added products and marketing and selling these products along with their honey
4) Teach as many people about the importance of environmental stewardship along the way.

The secondary need addressed by this project is increased environmental awareness and stewardship. It is reported that only 2% of Haiti’s forest cover is intact. Beekeeping teaches those involved that the environment is more valuable intact than when turned into charcoal briquettes.

WHAT WOMEN CAN DO WITH THE PRODUCTS
The women involved in this project will ultimately decide what they want to do with the honey they produce and the by-products of beekeeping (wax, propyls, etc.).

1) Sell their honey and reinvest in more hives
2) Use their honey for personal consumption
3) Make candles or soap with the wax
4) Sell their wax.

There also seems to be a global interest in bee pollen as a superfood, but this would
be a longer term project and set of investments.

We will also encourage the women to form groups to learn and take care of their
hives together. They will have the opportunity to determine what will work best
for them- work with family members, friends, neighbors, etc.

EXPECTED OUTCOMES
Year One
1) At least 50 women will have the equipment and education they need to care for bees
2) 40 healthy beehives will have been established on the property of the group members

Year Two
1) At least 40 women have been educated in value added processing of beekeeping by-products
2) Each group will have at least one product to sell to increase income
3) At least 500 people will have been educated about bees and the environment.

SCHOOLS WHERE WE DO BEEKEEPING PRESENTATIONS

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