Did you know that Brazil has more than 300 species of bees? Local beekeepers practice both European honey beekeeping (known as apiculture) and stingless beekeeping (known as meliponiculture). They support low-income, rural families through product sales for consumption as well as medicinal uses.
In 2009, the Brejo Beekeepers Association (BBA) was created to support beekeepers harvesting the abundant nectar sources in the Pernambuco region of northeast Brazil. At that time beekeeping was an informal activity and technical knowledge was scarce. The BBA filled that void by providing technical courses for both the European and stingless bees as well as encouraging local producers to network and share their experience and skills.
The BBA constructed the Brejo Honey Processing Center (Honey House) in 2011/2012 in order to “add value” to regional honey production activities and to commercialize bee products. They provide best practices to producers including how to inspect and feed the bee colonies, how to multiply them, how to harvest and preserve the honey, how to control infestation, and how to add value by obtaining a registered label for honey containers. These efforts provide powerful tools to optimize sustainable honey production that helps low-income communities improve their living conditions, contribute to the conservation of bees and plants, and ensure crop pollination.
Honey production in Brazil is regulated and supervised at both the federal and state level. In early 2021 the Pernambuco Economic Development Agency provided the balance of funds required to undertake the final necessary work. The Honey House received its certificate on February 1st, 2022.