With the continual destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which has been ongoing for many years, and the many media articles on this subject making for depressing reading, it is great to hear about glimmers of hope that there are small ways to reduce or even potentially reverse the loss.

The small hope in question is from beekeeping. Beekeeping in the Amazon is beginning to grow, with projects beginning to develop in areas of the Brazilian and Peruvian forests. Beekeeping isn’t anything new, but the industry being created, in the part of the world not commonly associated with it, is. There are charities promoting the work and now articles are being written in order to bring this specific industry to the world’s attention.

It is a family friendly industry, as the native honey bees have no sting, allowing children to become involved and reducing the need for protective clothing. Currently, as a cottage industry, it is in its infancy, but the production of honey from these small groups of indigenous people is a way to turn away from cutting down trees and clearing forest. Not only does it provide a better income than logging, but it is sustainable and requires minimal investment. Each hive can generate an estimated €170 in six months; managing around 40 hives the income generated is around 30 times higher than a typical crop farm growing Cassava.

The benefits are clearly visible, both financially and environmentally: the rainforest can be protected, even encouraged to redevelop, whilst producing a delicious product. The Amazon beekeeping should be supported as it educates and preserves local populations and helps to turn them away from the large organisations that abuse communities and the land for their natural, unsustainable resources.

If you would like to support sustainable beekeeping initiatives in the Amazon, there are a number of projects being run such as the NTFP Foundation and One Planet.

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