Bees are good for coffee producers, their families, and communities in coffee-growing regions.
Coffee-growing regions are good sites for honey bees, as plant diversity within the coffee farm offer excellent floral resources for honeybees. Coffee flowers produce sugary, high quality nectar, and bees improve coffee berry ripening, size and uniformity with their cross-pollination. Bees do not require land ownership, can be maintained by family members, and the many products from bee colonies serve as the local pharmacy. Bees don’t require a large investment of time or finances. Products can be sold locally or internationally, exported alongside coffee.
Most important, bee products improve family nutrition and provide additional income for coffee farmers.
Bees are a great complement to coffee:
- Honey provides income – and are part of an important, sustainable solution to hunger during the thin months;
- Honey prices are more stable than coffee prices;
- Anyone can do it – even the least powerful, most disenfranchised (women, people without land, etc.) – with some initial investment, to lift them out of poverty;
- Bees can live anywhere, and are not as susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change.