Beekeepers in the southern Haitian village of Bonbon are creating a buzz around honey in an area which is recovering from an earthquake in 2021.
Ilarion Celestin, was supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization and Haiti’s Ministry of Environment as part of a design against desertification to contemporize his product of honey He spoke to UN News on 20 May, 2021.
“ I used to be a traditional beekeeper. My notions made honey in a concave tree box, but also the Food and Agriculture Organization supported me to transition to a ultramodern form of beekeeping with specialized training and all the outfit, including 18 hives, I demanded to be a professional beekeeper.
We learnt how to look after the notions duly and now they’re healthier and producing further honey and the product is more aseptic.
I love honey it’s good to taste and is rich in proteins and is also medicinal. My notions make four different types of honey; my fave is from the flowers of the Moringa tree, which is a white honey.
The Bees do the hard work
It’s not a tough job, I check each hive twice a month and gather the honey three times a time. It’s the notions that do the hard work.
My yield of honey has increased from around two gallons a time when I tended notions in the traditional way, to around 270 gallons and of course, my life has completely changed as a result.
I can make veritably good plutocrat. One gallon sells for around$ 50, so it’s a good business. FAO tells us there’s a big demand for honey and perhaps in the future, my yield will be exported overseas. Right now, I vend it locally and in the capital Port- au- Prince.
I can now go to shoot me children to academy, make my house and have bought a cow.
further people are getting interested in getting beekeepers, especially since the earthquake in August 2021. I was trained by FAO to educate original people and they come to my ranch to see how I run my business, so I’m leading numerous training sessions and I feel good to partake my knowledge and experience with others. There are now about 60 beekeepers now producing in this area.
These new beekeepers realize that indeed an earthquake is doubtful to disrupt notions making honey, although some of the growers in my association did lose some notions when their hives fell over during the earthquake in August last time and of course there’s also the peril of landslides. And, this is a good job for the future.
Climate change challenge
The main challenge we face is climate change. When we’ve a failure the flowers on trees don’t grow well and there’s lower water, so the notions have to travel further to gather quencher and drink water, which means they produce lower honey.
So, I ’m beginning to plant trees and to make sure they’ve enough water. In this way, I’m also supporting the recovery of original timbers which is good for my community as there’s lower corrosion of the soils which growers use to cultivate crops and there’s increased biodiversity.
This a good job and is veritably sustainable and I’m veritably proud of my honey. ”