World Bee Day 2020 approaches we find we have to celebrate in a different way. In previous years I have brought together beekeepers ,skep makers and bee lovers to celebrate bees and educate those that just love the bees on why they need celebrating.This year I have a more serious mission.
I am working with Madagascan beekeepers and their Business partner Ilanga-Nature to help them feed their bees.
Over the years, Malagasy families have had to make a living from felling trees to make charcoal. Belgian and Madagascan entrepreneurs wanted to change this, both by saving the trees and helping families to make a better life for themselves.
By encouraging them not to keep the trees, they were set up as beekeepers, provided with hives and bees to create a new living, honey.
The bees need the trees to feed on, the most precious and tasty honeys, Niaouli, eucalyptus, mokarana, mangrove as well as Jujube and cactus all come from the blossoms of trees.
The good news is that trees and people are affordable here and so it doesn’t take much in Western terms, to really make a huge difference.
Winter 2019/ 2020 saw devastating floods across Madagascar with homes and businesses literally swept out to see by flood waters, as if that wasn’t enough to contend with, Ilanga-Nature lost warehouses full of hives and trucks used to collect honey from the most rural areas. Sometimes only a dug out canoe can reach beekeepers and so they really do need support from those of us who can help.
The brilliant thing is that we can support them just by simply buying their honey. Ilanga-Nature promised to buy all the honey their beekeepers produce, giving them a regular stable income. Families can now send their children to school, such a simple yet radical difference to make in their lives simply from keeping bees and producing honey.
The bees are all cared for naturally, treatment free, and are lucky to feed on chemical free flowers and so the honeys have been certified organic. That is something virtually impossible to do in many parts of the world today due to the intensive chemical farming that has become the normality for so many of us.
I have put together three Live events, free to attend, and all online.
1. Trees for Bees at 11am BST where we learn about how trees feed bees and why we need more of them. We will also be launching the crowdfunding campaign to plant 1 million trees in 2020
2. at 2pm BST ‘Honey for Business’, learn how honey and beekeeping businesses have changed the lives of Malagasy farmers, and how buying their honey can help your business, as gifts to customers, staff, or to sell in your food retail business.
3. Finally, at 6pm BST join me and a selection of Global Honey sommeliers and experts as we taste a selection of Ilanga-Nature honeys
I do hope that you can join me and be part of a wonderful live changing project and make World bee Day 2020 an year to be proud of.
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