News from Madagascar

Back in September 2022, we reached out to our BwS community for an unexpected fundraising. Our cooperative in #Madagascar had gone through some rough patches and came to us for support. Given the precarious times, we thought it was also a good time to come together and strategise. We made some key moves:

1. We raised funds to support 15 young beekeepers. The money was to be used to 1. buy new hives and colonies, and 2. make sure that young beekeepers that had already benefitted from beekeeping training would continue their beekeeping activities.

2. We decided not to harvest. Our bee colonies were weak from dealing with back-to-back natural calamities. Harvesting meant putting additional pressure on them and we never want that for our little bugs. To practice #sustainable #beekeeping, we decided to forego our honey harvest (and the income that comes with it) and prioritise our bees. We wanted our colonies to grow in strength and in numbers.



Six months later, we report back:

1. The money raised was intended for the purchase of 10 hives with colonies for each of 15 beekeepers, out of a group of 26 beekeepers. The cooperative made the decision to support all 26 beekeepers with 5 hives each, instead of the intended 10 hives. It was a decision taken by the beekeepers but one which we, at BwS, fully supported.

2. We had our first harvest of 2023 two weeks ago. We harvested 400kg of Niaouli honey (our UK bestseller) and expect another harvest in the coming month. The beekeepers received 25-50% more per kg of honey sold to us than if they were to sell to other buyers.

The short video attached is from the beekeepers’ harvest 2 weeks ago. We wanted to share their amazing work with our amazing community.

We also wanted to give a shout-out to our sponsors. This is ALL because of you. When the cooperative came to us in September 2022, we hadn’t budgeted for this expense and wouldn’t have been able to come through for our beekeepers had it not been for your contribution. You not only helped the bees but supported dozens of households going through rough times! THANK YOU!

On a personal note, I would like to add that I’m still in awe and ever so grateful for this beautiful community we are building together!