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The miracle of beekeeping

©IFAD/R. Ramasomanana

Beekeeping can be an essential lifeline for smallholders and subsistence farmers in rural areas to generate income.

Beekeeping can be an essential lifeline for smallholders and subsistence farmers in rural areas to generate income. Bees are well known for honey production, but they also provide other marketable products, such as pollen, propolis, royal jelly, venom, queens and their larvae. ©IFAD/R. Ramasomanana

Beekeeping can be an essential lifeline for smallholders and subsistence farmers in rural areas to generate income

Bees also play an important role in pollination - necessary for many food crops to grow, namely fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. It’s not such an easy life for bees though. They face many challenges to their survival, from pesticides, loss of habitat, invasive species and mono-cropping. ©IFAD/Minzayar Oo/Panos

Nazif Cehakic is a beekeeper in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with his family Nazif produces honey based products destined for the local market. The company produces up to six tonnes of honey per year. Nazif collaborated with the Rural Enterprise Enhancement Project and increased his yield by 20 per cent.

Nazif Cehakic is a beekeeper in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with his family Nazif produces honey based products destined for the local market. The company produces up to six tonnes of honey per year. Nazif collaborated with the Rural Enterprise Enhancement Project and increased his yield by 20 per cent. ©IFAD/Paolo Marchetti

Imran checks his honeybees and beehives in Azad Jammu Kashmir, Pakistan. Imran is part of a community bee-keeping project which benefited ten households in the local area. The IFAD project provided funding as well as training on beekeeping techniques.

Imran checks his honeybees and beehives in Azad Jammu Kashmir, Pakistan. Imran is part of a community bee-keeping project which benefited ten households in the local area. The IFAD project provided funding as well as training on beekeeping techniques. ©IFAD/Asad Zaidi

Nguyen Ngoc Lanh inspects a beehive at their apiary. In the past, Nguyen would only breed bees for family-use, but since working with a local community group he was able to acquire new equipment and training. The community group, led by Nguyen, now have an apiary of sixty beehives ©IFAD/Minzayar Oo/Panos

Nguyen Ngoc Lanh inspects a beehive at their apiary. In the past, Nguyen would only breed bees for family-use, but since working with a local community group he was able to acquire new equipment and training. The community group, led by Nguyen, now have an apiary of sixty beehives. ©IFAD/Minzayar Oo/Panos

Kiriri tribes people check honey production at a honeybee colony in Bahia, Brazil. They make honey to sell at farmers markets. ©IFAD/Lianne Milton/Panos

Kiriri tribes people check honey production at a honeybee colony in Bahia, Brazil. They make honey to sell at farmers markets. ©IFAD/Lianne Milton/Panos

Monique Nyirashuli is the president of the beekeeping and honey making cooperative (COPAKI) in Cyunuzi, Rwanda. The cooperative has over 2000 members and makes honey using traditional honey traps made from bamboo sticks and banana leaves. With the help of her business, Monique is able to pay for her children’s school fees, build her own house and visit other farmers outside the country on study tours. The honey can help Rwandans to prevent disease and maintain good health ©IFAD/Susan Beccio

Monique Nyirashuli is the president of the beekeeping and honey making cooperative (COPAKI) in Cyunuzi, Rwanda. The cooperative has over 2000 members and makes honey using traditional honey traps made from bamboo sticks and banana leaves. With the help of her business, Monique is able to pay for her children’s school fees, build her own house and visit other farmers outside the country on study tours. The honey can help Rwandans to prevent disease and maintain good health. ©IFAD/Susan Beccio