Hello once again from the recently rained upon lands of Andalusia, Spain, the sun is hot and shiny, la levanta blows harder some days than others and beekeeping continues to open one door after the other. We've spent the last few weeks making friends, putting in gardens, and educating the community about the benefits of bees. Whether its art projects with the kids, or in depth conversations about the effects of queen bee breeding and race integration, everyone seems to be interested. Through a series of successive phone calls over the weekend from beekeepers across Spain and even southern France it turns out we are the only active queen bee breeders around....Therefor there has been quite a bit of organization happening.
Meanwhile, I sent out a brief project description to friends wanting to start a project in Burkina Faso, and am hoping to hear from them shortly. Due to the recent coup d'tat in in Mali, not only am I keeping my fingers crossed that the project gets accepted but I am wishing for the peace of the country, our friends and all our family along the route. So I'm holding my breath and staying busy.
I'm still without a camera so I thought I would include the project description for entertainment purposes.
Holistic Community Development through Apiculture Initiation Overview
Pilot program taking place in Karfiguela, Banfora, Burkina Faso lead by Kahlyn Keilty-Lucas
30th March 2012
The Pollinization of Honey Bees is essential to our environment as well as the security of our food sources and the closer we bring them to our communities the more sustainable we become. Through community engagement and education the introduction of modern beekeeping in Karfiguela Banfora will demonstrate how beekeeping based on the principles of bee health, nutrition and multiplication will carry forward the same benefits to the people involved. Using this practice as the foundation to the community’s agriculture practice, crops will increase due to the increase in pollinization, the community will have direct access to the nutritional and health benefits of honey, pollen, propolis, and bee venom, jobs will be created for women, children, and the disabled, artisan work will be sourced to local wood and metal workers and surplus honey and wax can be sold to local markets.
Step 1 Community Engagement and Resource Preparation.
· Establish Working Site in Community- 1 Hectare of arid land for Beehive placement and Closed Honey Extraction Working Site including exemplary mellifera local crop gardens.
(Land as donation from Village? Do we have access to seed banks?)
· Bee Sourcing- Access to Local Apis Mellifera Andosoni Bees.
(James do you have the info from the French bee center outside of Banfora on their prices on Bees? More money, More Bees…)
· Wood sourcing and Carpentry work for removable panel Langstroth Beehives.
(The more money we can get here the more Beehives we can make! Do we have a general idea of local wood and labor prices?)
· Local Confectioners in the Preparation of Protective clothing, boots, gloves and mosquito net covered hat. (Local prices of Mosquito Net and thick material)
Step 2 Education
As a trained Queen Bee Breeder and apiculture worker, carpenter, community worker and overall beekeeping enthusiast I am prepared to guide the community through the preparation, installation and education needed to pursue a sustainable beekeeping project.
· Education through the Arts- Initial Bee Consciousness will be shared with the community through GAIA (Partnering Sustainable Development Organization in Spain), Galvez Productions and our mobile interactive educational space and theatre. Participation of village children is ideal in forming initial collaboration and in achieving the level of respect needed for a successful beekeeping practice.
· Hands on Community Workshop- Week long hands on Introductory Workshop using Bee Health, Nutrition and Multiplication as the foundation. Appropriate Beekeeping techniques and methods will be described as well as practiced. (Depending on the amount of Grant I would like to put a price on our education programs if possible. Curriculum can be provided.)
· Job Orientation-Throughout the preparation process interested and eager individuals will be identified through their initiatives and Apiculture roles will be identified.
Step 3. Project Execution
The development of a bee colony is directly dependent on the nectar and pollen available in the habitat. Traditionally there are two periods of honey harvest in Burkina Faso, one in June-July and another in November-December. Pollen collection also takes place the month leading up, and will likewise be taken advantage of for the protein/vitamin rich nutritional benefits. Preparations will be made in order to reach these dates with maximum honey reserves. Working in Honor of Bee Health, Nutrition and Multiplication we can ensure that this will happen and that our future harvests will only continue to grow exponentially.
Once the products are harvested, Honey and Pollen will be available to all contributing villages for personal consumption and health and all excess honey will be available for marketing and sales.
Step 4. Multiplication
Throughout the process efficient and productive queen bees will be identified and used as the basis of the queen bee rearing techniques. As a strong queen bee makes for a strong beehive we can not only control the productivity of our hive but use her strong genes to produce more strong and efficient queens in order to create beehives for sister projects to come…