LaCroix Honeybee Project

          At one time, there was enough honey produced in Haiti to export to European markets.  Due to political upheaval and the introduction of the Varroa mite in the 1980’s, honey production was almost eliminated.

          Today, beekeeping has been re-introduced in the South of Haiti in the area of Jeremie, and in the north in the area of Cap Haitien.  Many of the remaining Haitian beekeepers still use log hives (see above) and must practically destroy the colony to harvest honey.  Some of these projects are using Kenyan Topbar Hives, others are working with modified Langstroth Hives built by Haitians.

 

          Having attempted to keep bees in the Topbar Hives we have found them to be slow to develop and produce very little excess honey.    

          The primary goal of this project is to train, assist and mentor 20+ Haitian beekeepers in the LaCroix region to acquire and manage 10 colonies each using Langstroth style movable frame hives. This will eventually provide 200 colonies of bees producing 12,000 or more pounds of honey.

          The honeybees will pollinate the staple crop of beans, dramatically increasing production.  Not only will honeybees pollinate beans, other crops such as squash, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes and coconut will benefit from the bees foraging on their flowers.

 

          Another aspect of this project is to purchase and plant hundreds of Moringa plants in the region.  This white flowering large shrub or small tree will allow our bees to produce the highly desirable Moringa Honey.  

 

The goals of this mission are as follows:  

  • Purchase 12 Nucleus Colonies from Haitian beekeepers.

  • Purchase 500 Moringa plants.

  • Build the wooden ware needed to house these starter colonies.

  • Establish a new Bee Yard at the Medical Clinic Farm and fence in the bee yard.

  • Train 5 Local Haitian Beekeepers using “Simple Caribbean Beekeeping”  written in Creole by Bo Sterk.

  • Split the original 12 colonies as soon as they are strong enough to do so.

  • Provide each beekeeper with 2 colonies each and basic equipment, including wooden ware, hat and veil, gloves, smoker and hive tool.

 

Ongoing training will include:

  • How to split colonies/ produce queens

  • How to build additional wooden ware and manage colonies for honey production

  • How to maintain the original 12 colonies for additional splits

  • Continue training and starting new Haitian Beekeepers with 2 colonies each and the basic equipment

  • Training a Haitian carpenter to build boxes and frames to sell to beekeepers expanding their operations.

          It is through this mission we hope to return the art of beekeeping to Haiti by training Haitian beekeepers and mentoring new beekeepers.  We would also like to establish a cooperative environment to provide starter equipment for these new beekeepers.

Maineville United Methodist Church

60 East Foster-Maineville Road

Maineville, Ohio  45039

(513) 683-1005

mainevilleumc@gmail.com

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