On Mount Namuli, strong and steady wins the race, and the same goes for honey. A successful honey harvest is a result of a strong and steady learning collaboration with the beekeepers of Namuli. It is the result of the dedication of their minds, the work of their hands and of course, their relationship with the bees.
The Legado: Namuli team has continued to work towards generating capacity and autonomy for beekeepers through capacity building trainings, individual meetings, and technical support. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Legado Namuli team was able to individually support beekeepers, meeting all preventive measures to limit risk of spreading the virus, and successfully secured the first harvest of raw, organic honey from the forests of Namuli.
By providing in-depth and holistic support, the Legado Namuli project accelerates leadership for local beekeepers to serve as references for other community members, speaking to the potential and benefits of beekeeping, as well as the possibility of conservation and fire control for building thriving futures.
Beekeepers are taking the lead as they develop their skills and build upon their knowledge and generations old relationships with the bees. One of these special beekeepers is Ernesto Abilio.
Ernesto Abilio is a young beekeeper, trained by his grandfather in traditional beekeeping and has hunted honey since he was a young boy. Before the beekeeping training with Legado: Namuli, Ernesto planned to expand his fields to grow potatoes on the mountain. With the potential of honey production and the prospect of an alternative source for income generation, he decided to use his time to set up an apiary. Ultimately, his apiary became a beautiful example for other trained beekeepers.
With the bees and the production of honey in mind, Ernesto planted avocado, blackberry, peach and mango seedlings close to his apiary, creating an “beekeeping island” among his fields that provides nectar and pollen for the bees.
With a sparkle in his eye and the support of the team of technicians, he established an apiary on his family’s land that became a shining example for community members. With three thriving beehives, he carried out the first honey harvest supported by the project.
Ernesto’s harvest demonstrates the enormous possibilities of producing organic honey on the mountain as well as the dedication needed to achieve sustainable production. A successful harvest depends on communication, logistics, training and, especially, the beekeeper’s vision for the conservation of forests for future production.