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Honey Making Money

Posted on: December 27, 2012

Honey Making Money

Honey Making Money

Much has been reported on the global plight of honeybees. Their diminishing numbers make for worrying reading – far from a ‘cutesy’ environmental issue that is open to ridicule by politicians and moneymen, this phenomenon is directly tied to our species’ livelihood. The fact is that scientists don’t know why bees are disappearing (climate change, pollutants etc.), but their importance societally is undeniable – almost 80% of what we eat in the EU is pollinated by honeybees. So, with this in mind, a recent BBC Future piece showcased how the burgeoning telecommunications industry in East Africa is joining forces with farmers to help cultivate honey and make more money.

“For the past twelve years, Kenyan social business Honey Care Africa has developed its innovative ‘Business in a Beehive’ model that has allowed low-income farmers to easily earn more money by producing honey,” so writes Jonathan Kalan for the BBC. And what a fortuitous time to be cultivating this lucrative trade which, much like coffee, finds the planetary demand far outstripping supply. Smartphones are playing a vital role in this project as well; allowing farmers and suppliers to keep abreast of production, pricing and distribution. This honey network is made even more opportune by the fact that it allows customers, through central databases, to find out where their honey is coming from and who produced it. 

Fairtrade products have been increasingly in demand and this is a clever way to help poorer communities and the environment as a whole. Madison Ayer, Honey Care Africa’s CEO, was keen to elaborate on the connectivity of their product and it’s innovative integration with consumer demand by utilizing now-ubiquitous Apps to follow the honey’s trail: “The app also allows global consumers to connect more with Kenyan beekeepers. For example, imagine picking up a jar of Honey Care Africa honey off the shelves of your local supermarket, scanning a QR code on the jar, and seeing the family, trees and hives that produced, along with harvest date all on your screen.” Hope for the future.

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2 Responses to "Honey Making Money"

As a beekeeper I once had big ideas of expanding my hives,selling a lot of honey and doing pollination services..If you want the wind knocked out of your sails then visit some of these honey processing plant and if you will notice there are a lot of empty 300 gallon container sitting everywhere. Marks for shipping on the side indicate it’s coming here from countries like Argentina,Brazil,Africa. You name it anywhere they can get cheap labor and product..An American company goes there and buys 1% in there business and then they ship it here and process and market it as if it is made in America…There are laws but they allways find away around them.American beekeepers cannot compete with the Globalists because it costs a lot more here to produce the product. As far as bees being wiped out by chemicals or pesticides..you have to see that the bulk of beekeepers in the United States are made up of thousands of people 10 ,25, 50, 100 hives maybe..We are not a United front here.If my bees are wiped out , no one will lift an eyebrow over it…If some orchard that is a multi million dollar operation looses there whole crop one year because of no bees then those that are supposed to be protecting us will come in and spin it ….There used to be some groups that was trying to get the word out there on names of chemicals that were proven to be bad and many were banned in this country.Bayer still ships this stuff to other countries like Africa and the other we talked about knowing full well the effects..But profit rules. As a retired truck driver I have been inside many facilities and I use to pay attention to labels and what I was hauling..Much of it was from China,,and other countries,,Guess what??? Our elected officials sold us out with a simple little change in the labeling laws…Way under the radar of most folks..Now when you get to the active ingredient of these product you see something like 17605xxxx ..Look that up on the shipping papers like we are supposed to do when we haul hazmat materials.IT simply says “TRADE SECRET”. So there you have it..Big lobby money wins out over whats good for the country everytime. I did not read this out of some article somewhere. This is what I have observed with my own eyes. Bob Fortner

Hi Bob,

There is nothing like personal and hands on experience to deeply analyze a situation, and I appreciate you sharing your insights on the matter.

I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties of your profession as a beekeeper in the United States. I can definitely understand the frustration of fighting big corporations and not receiving support from the ones who are supposed to support you (like the US government).

Have you tried forming some kind of union? Or protesting with other beekeepers in the United States? Your concerns are real, and I’m sure that other beekeepers feel the same way.. I think social networks like blogs/facebook/twitter are the best way to start spreading your agenda..

Supporting local workers should be a top priority for any country, and I think awareness for the subject is on the rise everywhere. Recent trends indicate that many countries are starting to bring plants that where once moved to the east back, and maybe that’s a good sign for all western countries…

What do you think?

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