Farmer-led innovation in Moreau
During a trip to the village of Moreau in January 2019, the farmers showed us their fledgling beekeeping operations on their farms. Citadel, the head of the farmers’ association, offered to sell us honey and beeswax from the ~20 hives on his land and connect us with other new beekeepers in the area. Many farmers who have started keeping bees are self-taught or have received some training/equipment from NGOs; they are interested in adding more beehives and investing in more equipment than they currently have access to. The farmers recognize that raising bees promotes sustainable agriculture in their community.
Why are bees important in Haiti?
Over the last several decades, the global bee population has steadily declined. This poses a significant threat to global food security, since 70 of the 100 most important crops that humans consume (representing 90% of the world’s nutrition) directly rely on pollination to grow and produce food.
There is a lack of research about bee populations specific to Haiti — however, based on what information we can find and information we have received from our partner farmers, we are aware of challenges for pollinators in Haiti as well. Soil erosion, deforestation, and habitat destruction, sparked by colonization and the resulting natural resource exploitation, have likely impacted bees habitats and food sources. The intentional care and keeping of bee populations ensures that these valuable insects stay and thrive where they are needed in rural Haiti; this supports Haitian farmers as they invest in sustainable agriculture and grow their economic opportunities.
The benefits of beekeeping in Haiti
Helping bees thrive
Improving food production and soil health
Supporting community-led development
Exporting honey and beeswax from Moreau, Haiti
There are local buyers for honey in Haiti and we encourage the farmers we work with to seek out diverse markets to ensure income stability; however, due to washed-out mountain roads and limited transportation options, these markets are often hard to access and have limited income potential. Instead, our partner farmers now have the opportunity to sell bulk honey to us for slightly more than market value; this compensates the farmers sustainably and fairly for their work, without risk of disrupting local trade.
The larger opportunity for the beekeepers we work with, like Casty and Citadel, is to sell beeswax outside of Haiti. Currently, the farmers have not found buyers of beeswax products locally. By selling this high-quality beeswax to us for our Bee Good, Do Good products, the farmers have a new, reliable source of income that won’t impact existing local trade relationships. The versatility of beeswax also ensures that we can develop countless natural products to sell in Minnesota and beyond; this grows our partnership and collaborative investments in sustainable agriculture.
We often get questions about how the farmers in Moreau keep bees, as well as best practices for bee product consumption in general. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team with additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org