The COMSA Bee Project started as an initiative to provide another means of income to over 500 coffee farmers when Honduras, Marcala La Paz was hit with Roya – Coffee Rust. This is the Bee Project's 4th year, and we can see how beneficial it has become to the COMSA members. When our Licensed Q Grader, Woody, visited COMSA this past March, he was able to see first-hand the benefits of the Bee Project. He was also able to meet with our Fair Trade contact, Sonia Vasquez, while he was there. Here are her thoughts on the next phase of this initiative:
“I am enthusiastic to continue this project in the La Victoria neighborhood. I also want to maintain the established training center “Rincon del Saber” and projects in other neighborhoods in Marcala, where people in the community are themselves managers, who are prepared to integrate beekeeping practices among coffee production as a means of improving their livelihoods. A community fund should be established after the first honey harvest and sale to continue funding the project well beyond One Village Coffee’s contribution. In this way the community can use the fund to build up a "living bank". Honey products can be sold and pay directly for other essential goods and services needed for the project.” Sonia Vasquez, COMSA.
THIS YEAR'S GOAL | COMSA is looking to bring a beekeeping technician, all the way from Uruguay to Honduras, in November. He be will offering different training sessions that show best practices on all things Honey Bee's, to the Co-op members.
A FEW PAST RESULTS |
- Honey was collected, and recipes were added for the use of medicinal and nutritional purposes. Fair Trade USA estimates that each hive will produce 10-15 kg of honey a year.
- Information was distributed on the significance of conservation activities that do not destroy the environment.
- Training was provided in bee biology and behavior, beekeeping equipment, bee and hive management, harvesting & handling and the marketing of honey.
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Photo credit by Fair Trade USA - The COMSA Co-op Honduras, Marcala