Honey Bee Alliance Project

Honey Bee Alliance Project

By Carlos Sanchez

bee 2016


Objective: To establish a group of concerned citizens for the care and conservation of honey bees that are being affected by various human activities, like contamination due to the use of insecticides, herbicides, and other poisons that are being spread into the atmosphere. On the other hand, they are also being affected by civil protection groups who are tasked with protecting the local citizens and because of their lack of training and knowledge they are killing the bees and as such they are destroying these creatures and at the same time they are destroying the natural resources that are necessary for maintaining a healthy population.

The project’s objective is based on my experiences gathered throughout the years working as a beekeeper and l have detected that the problem has increased over the last several decades. Be assured that it is urgent that we take concrete actions to stop this mortality. Unfortunately, the honeybees are yet to have a group dedicated to protecting them. Since we do not want them to ever get close to being in danger of going extinct, it is necessary to start one of these types of groups. By doing this, we hope to save the bees and begin to create new sources of work for the local population. If we don’t act, the bees will continue to die and we will lose a great natural resource.

That is why we believe that it is of vital importance to create one of these types of groups because that way our action will be decisive to better protect the bees and also, to be able to take advantage of their products and generosity for a healthy lifestyle. In this way, the main objective is for a short, medium, and long-term conservation and to utilize the bees as an invaluable natural resource that must be protected for their great value as pollinators and transmitters of life.

What we hope to achieve is the conservation of the bees, and next the creation of jobs by establishing beehive rescue groups. Once we begin rescuing the hives, the bees, in all due time, will naturally begin producing their products which are honey, pollen, etc. And from there, the rescue groups will be able to start generating their own resources so as to become self-sufficient.

As we achieve our goals, we will begin documenting our work through videos and photos that the groups can use in presentations they will give to the local community detailing their day to day activities. We will also publish this information in newspapers, local magazines and maybe one day have our own website to inform the rest of the community the importance of creating similar groups.

The materials and tools we need to execute the project are: Beekeeper’s gear which includes overalls, gloves, boots, smokers, face mask, and a means of transportation that in given time may be individual or collective. The project will be located primarily within the municipality of Chapala, and if the situation permits, in the future it may spread to surrounding municipalities. A building in the Las Redes neighborhood of Chapala will be used as a base for the group.

avicultorOur activities will primarily consist of training the group in how to rescue beehives and next they will be ready to take calls from the local population who are in need of their assistance. The group will maintain contact with Civil Protection authorities, and they will supply them with personnel specialized in bees. The bees that are to be rescued will be taken to previously established locations and placed in boxes for their care and conservation and in due time, the bees in question, will produce their products and for this activity we will need more personnel (it will be necessary to obtain additional workers and equipment prior to carrying out such an operation.) This is how we plan on generating resources for our already established groups.

The essential resources that we will need to protect the bees are boxes to place the hives in which the groups may either build or purchase them, we will also need tools such as saws and hammers, etc. The human resources that are currently at our disposal are people that are very aware of the problem and are ready and anxious to learn how to do the job.

We can obtain the resources that are needed from non-governmental organizations or perhaps from government support funds, civil associations interested in protecting the bees and/or companies who are committed to protecting the environment.

The budget estimate: taking into account that we need tools and materials, in addition we will also need full bee keeper equipment that costs $1,380.00 pesos per person, adding up to be $6,900.00 pesos for five people. The purchase of honey bee boxes which are $350.00 a piece. We will start off with 50, so it will come to a total of $17,500.00, a used vehicle at $35,000.00, computer $5000.00, and tables and chairs for $3,000.00. The acquisition of these items will allow us to begin the operation of honey bee conservation and the total amount needed will come to the sum of $74,400.00 pesos—taking into consideration that this amount is the initial investment that we will need to begin the project.

The following list is the weekly costs to pay the worker’s wages, transportation to rescue sites, and movement of the hives. A weekly wage of  $1,700 pesos will be assigned to each worker and $2,500 will be paid to the group coordinator. The gas needed to run the vehicles may vary depending on distances of the location of the hives that will need to be rescued, but we will assign a weekly average amount of $800.00. The weekly costs will come to a sum of $5,000.00. The costs of electricity, water, paper, and telephone will vary but we’ve estimated that to be at $500.00 a week. The initial estimate that is needed to cover the expenses of the initial month will be $22,000.00 pesos a month.

On the other hand, as it has already been mentioned, in due time the bees will begin producing their honey, pollen, and etc. And the groups that are able to take advantage of these resources will have products to sell in the communities and this will give them a means to make money, they may also accept any donation or grant that is given to them.

Recognizing that the groups are committed to the environment, in their downtime, they will create nurseries full of plants that can be used in the cattle industry and agriculture that will in time work for the benefit of the bees. Also, talks were held in the local communities to bring awareness of the plight of the bees. And allow us to make the suggestion to the community that they should be planting fruit trees that do not affect buildings nor the security of the population, such as citrus, peaches, loquats, apple, pear, apricot, Capulin trees, and vines like grapes, kiwi and blackberries that help to generate oxygen and refresh the environment.

(Ed. Note: This article was composed by Carlos Sanchez, a beekeeper for more than 25 years with work experience in various states of the Mexican Republic, United States (including Hawaii) and Canada. The Ojo does not ordinarily promote free of charge the solicitation of funds, but given the vital importance of the bee population to our area, we have made an exception in this case.) 

For those that wish to help, anything that you could give would be greatly appreciated. For more information, please contact Carlos at:  327-109-4267 or E-mail him at carlos_sanchez66@hotmail.com)


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