Bees for Development respects your right to privacy so the only web cookies this website deploys are those which are strictly necessary for its correct operation and which enhance the experience of our site visitors – no personally identifiable information is collected. If you continue to browse our website we will assume that you are happy with our policy and to receive cookies from our website. If you choose to follow a link to third-party website please be aware that other organisations may have different cookie deployment policies from our own. You can change your cookie preferences in your web browser at any time.
The specialist international beekeeping organisation
In many countries in the world the most natural and undisturbed environments are those which are within protected areas such as national parks, wildlife parks, forest reserves and nature reserves. These are excellent environments for bees, as they provide a wide range of suitable forage, nesting sites and are unpolluted. In countries unaffected by introduced bee diseases wild bee populations are often high in these protected areas.
However, the concept of setting aside conservation areas is relatively new and most designations have taken place in the last 100 years, usually less. Prior to this, these rich natural environments were also home to people who will have derived benefits from bees through honey hunting and traditional beekeeping. In some situations as parks have been created people have been evicted and re-settled outside the new protected areas. Honey hunting and beekeeping within the reserves were often banned, therefore depriving people of honey and other bee products.
Examples of where this has occured include Mt Elgon Forest in Uganda, Nyika National Park in Malawi and Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. In some cases the prohibition of beekeeping and honey hunting in protected areas is part of national policy. For example, no beekeeping was permitted in all forest reserves in Malawi for many decades.
Beginining in the 1990s new approaches to conservation emerged - based around community participation and community benefit. Many of the ideas revolved around the idea of allowing local people access to protected areas in order for them to find ways of supplementing their poor livelihoods - provided the activities were compatible with nature conservation. Beekeeping was often considered as suitable. It was further considered that local people would be motivated to participate in conservation, if they could derive tangible benefits from doing so.
Throughout the last decade there have been many, many beekeeping projects within or close to protected areas. These projects have helped and supported local communities to keep bees, in order to earn income, and access to the protected areas was allowed for this purpose. Earning income from beekeeping means local people may abandon more destructive activities, such as charcoal burning or bushmeat hunting, and may also become committed conservationists - in recognition that protected environments are good for bees.
Sadly, in some protected areas beekeeping remains forbidden.
1 documents and 0 reference documents found
Leo Robert, published 30/11/2010, Bees for Development Bees for Development Journal 100 41795 PDF on this website
Article (pdf file) in English