Honey – a sustainable alternative in Sierra de las Minas
With its abundance of Mellifera flowers, beekeeping conditions are ideal in the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve. In February 2014, 300 beehives were given to 150 families living in the Biosphere Reserve, as part of the Bioforesa project supported by the aid organizations BMZ, Oro Verde, and Heifer International. Apiculture offers the 15 local communities an alternative income to extracting natural resources from the Reserve. The selected families were trained in honey production and received the necessary equipment, (protective clothing, smokers, feeders, tools, wax supplies, extractors, containers, etc.)
After harvesting and selling the honey, the monetary profits resulted essential during food shortages. As a consequence, the families decided to continue the beekeeping operations and to start a new program to engage others in apiculture. Furthermore, a fund was established to purchase beekeeping supplies.
The communities involved are Río Chiquito I, Santo Toribio, El Corozal, San José las Minas, Tres Arroyos, Río Blanco, San Marcos, San Sebastian, Cancoy, Monja Blanca, and San Isidro, all part of the Panzós municipality, Alta Verapaz.