Not only are bees the magical little engines that maintain the delicate balance of Earth’s ecosystem, but they can also produce something wonderful to mix with coffee.
On May 20, World Bee Day, the nonprofit Food 4 Farmers is asking coffee retailers to collect $1 from every honey-enriched drink sold to fund its beekeeping program in the communities of coffee producers.
Here’s a handy guide from Food 4 Farmers on how coffee retailers can get involved. Need some honey drink ideas? See the collection of delicious recipes at the bottom of this story, including a twist on the classic Café con Miel.
bees and coffee
Numerous studies have shown that bees, as natural pollinators, can significantly improve the health and yields of seasonal coffee trees, which can potentially increase farmers’ incomes.
Yet, as Food 4 Farmers has shown through its support of three different farm-level projects in Mexico and Guatemala, beekeeping itself can be a vital source of income through honey production, helping to avoid food insecurity in the months between coffee harvests.
“Because the honey harvest falls after the coffee harvest, it provides additional income during the months of traditional food shortage when income from the previous coffee harvest is depleted,” said Marcela Pino, Food 4 Program Director. Farmers, in a statement to DCN. “This extra income helps families fight rising food prices and avoid going into debt to buy food. It also provides a safety net when their coffee crop is disrupted by coffee rust, pests, natural disasters or low coffee prices.
Foods 4 Beekeeping programs supported by farmers The CESMACH coffee cooperative (Mexico), the Maya Ixil cooperative (Guatemala) and the ACODIHUE cooperative (Guatemala) have proven to be able to improve household incomes, improve household food production and provide income-generating employment. income to women and young people.
In 2021, at the CESMACH cooperative alone, some 1,200 managed hives produced nearly 40,000 pounds of honey, generating more than $50,000 in income for beekeepers and their families, according to Food 4 Farmers.
“Without a doubt, beekeeping and coffee growing go hand in hand, not least because beekeeping is an activity that does not require a lot of time,” Susi Roblero, coffee grower and promoter of beekeeping at the cooperative, told DCN. CESMACH. “It’s a big help for the members of our cooperative, because it generates significant additional income for their families in times of lean times.
Click here to join the Food 4 Farmers World Bee Day effort.
Nick Brown is the editor of Roast Magazine’s Daily Coffee News.