Beekeeping - A sustainable way to access food

Beekeeping is an activity that promotes the formation of bee colonies in hives made by the beekeeper. As a rule, bees used in beekeeping have a sting, but there are also stingless bees.

Honey and beehive hunting and beekeeping are different systems. Hunting is an activity based on the destruction of wild hives, in order to have access to honey and other food sources, using fire and fumigation of hives, which is a risk of fire and destruction of biodiversity and local communities. Beekeeping respects the natural cycle of local bee species, it is a non-invasive method and the products obtained are easier to collect. Beehives are easily transported and placed in places where, for example, there is a need for pollination. The products it generates are easily controlled by the beekeeper and allow for higher yields when the activity is well managed. The products are of a higher quality than those obtained from hunting hives.

Why is beekeeping a sustainable method?

. Everyone can be a beekeeper, regardless of age, daily control of hives is not necessary and can be an extra source of income;

. It is a source of income for many families worldwide, living in rural areas;

. Enriches the family diet;

. It allows setting up a food system that, in addition to providing natural and healthy food, is a source of income for everyone in the beekeeping supply chains;

. It is an activity that can promote employment in the community;

. It requires little initial investment, as it is an activity that requires few resources;

. It does not require the use of complex and expensive technological solutions;

. It promotes the production of honey (energetic and healthy food), wax, pollen, royal jelly and propolis, products used for different purposes and that generate income;

. It provides the pollination of plant flowers, as well as agricultural crops, being essential for the biodiversity of ecosystems and for the feeding of communities;

. Promotes the protection of local bees;

. It generates income in communities without destroying ecosystems and promotes the biodiversity of local species.


FAO. 2012.  Beekeeping and sustainable livelihoods. Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division.

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