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Photo by Tom Pablo, Andes & Amazon Semester.

Meliponiculture (Honey and Bees)

One day I was walking through the market here in Urubamba on a mission to buy honey. Although there are lot’s of ladies selling honey with their produce, I was drawn to an only-honey booth. There were at least 20 different kinds of honey, all of which come from different kinds of bees or bees that pollinate different kinds of flowers. The lady behind the stacks of honey explained all of this and let me taste the different kinds of honey. This became the inspiration for a research project that I am doing for my regional seminar class.

I wanted to know what honey harvesting looks like in Peru and I almost immediately came across meliponiculture: the harvesting and keeping of sting-less bees. It is a very common practice in the amazon and when done correctly, benefits the bees, the agriculture, and can bring money to the families/communities that do it. It can be a great sustainable practice.

For my project in Sara’s Regional Seminar class, I am looking at the pros and cons of meliponiculture, how deforestation affects it, and what makes it sustainable. I could not be more excited to be researching this practice! We’ve been focusing on climate change which can get very heavy, but I think it’s important to shine light on sustainable practices that exist and are working.

Pictured: Me holding a dying bee.