With the Project:
Sustainable Honey in Zambia
Nature's Nectar is a honey company that produces honey through sustainable beekeeping. The company is working with local farmers in the Northwestern Province of Zambia and helps them to achieve a sustainable income and protect local forests. It transitions local beekeepers from traditional bark hives to more sustainable beehives by distributing locally and sustainably produced top bar beehives to farmers. The hives last more than 20 years, protect the bees through the sustainable harvest method, and produce honey in a better quality that meets international standards.
Before the introduction of the new beekeeping method, farmers would strip the bark of a tree to create a beehive. As the honey market expanded, so did the amount of bark hives, resulting in forests being stripped off their cover rapidly. Traditional bark beehives need one nectar producing tree for every hive made, last only 2-5 years and are dangerous to harvest from. This has slowly killed thousands of local trees.
Nature's Nectar is one of two actors in Zambia that distributes and sells longer lasting beehives made of local and sustainable pine. Their aim is to protect a minimum of one hectare of local forest for every hive distributed. A long-term and impactful income shall be created for the farmers they work with. The full-time staff hired by the company are part of the community where the beekeeping takes place, a great way of building trust between the company and the rural communities involved. 50% of the staff are female, since the company is fully committed to equal opportunities as a way of empowering women.
Beehives are distributed in one area only, so that the operational control remains simple and effective. A data tracking application is used for the monitoring of the project's impacts. This application tracks every single hive location and the production of every season as well as the financial impact on the farmer. In addition, the Kenyan top bar hives distributed to the farmers help to protect the local forests and last at least 20 years with proper maintenance. The production of these hives does not affect the local forests as they are made of pine produced in other areas of Zambia.
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