Our specific initiative involved a targeted group of 10 widows and 15 orphans. The widows were given 100 hives, and the orphans received 60. Alongside the provision of hives, we facilitated the necessary training and supplied protective gear. In a broader perspective, the entire cooperative, which comprises over 75 beekeepers, benefited from honey extractors, maturing tanks, and honey filters.
The project took off in earnest in January 2022 with the installation of the hives. By February, promising signs of colonization were apparent – 13% and 28% of the widows’ and orphans’ hives respectively were thriving with bee activity. The trend continued positively throughout the year, with the colonization rates rising to an encouraging 65% and 60% by December. The 2023 harvest season stretching from March to June, marked a period of bustling hive activity. This was not only indicative of ecological health but also community empowerment. The benefit of this initiative lies in its dual benefits. On one hand, it generates a steady income stream for these disadvantaged communities. On the other, it introduces the younger generation to a sustainable business venture promising enduring income.
The project’s impact is not confined to just these aspects. By increasing the production capacity of the cooperative through the addition of new hives and equipment, Koster Keunen benefits through the increase of the available beeswax. All the while, the resulting increase in bee populations bolsters biodiversity contributing to environmental sustainability.