Sustainable Honey for Food and Forests – A Beekeeper’s Story


Sticky and delicious, honey is loved by many across cultures and continents.

This wondrous golden substance has been favoured for millennia and is still a staple sweetener, found in many of our kitchens. Not just nutritious, honey is also famed as a treatment for numerous ailments and illnesses.

For at least 10,000 years, humans have extracted honey from waxy combs made by wild honey bees. Across the world, honey is still collected from wild nests and, until 2017, the tradition of wild honey collection was practised in communities on the island of Príncipe, in the Gulf of Guinea. But this destructive process involved burning the nest, thereby killing most of the bees and threatening wild populations.

Alongside local partner, Fundação Príncipe, and national government, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working with local people to develop sustainable honey production on the island. The Cooperative of Beekeepers of Príncipe, or COOPAPIP, was established in 2016 and aims to bring together Príncipe’s beekeepers to promote beekeeping as an alternative livelihood and to ensure the preservation of bees.

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Image via Flora & Fauna International