Saving Bees in Indonesia
For a few months now, Little Trove has been the appointed distributor of Natural Light Candles, a wonderful international brand of beeswax candles. Some of you may have followed my travels there in 2013 when I visited the production facility and met the “boss” Kelly Marciano.
Natural Light Candle specialises in beeswax candles, which obviously relies on the supply of wax from our dear bees. Many will be aware that in the UK, bee populations are in decline and certainly many organisations are involved in bee conservation work. Pesticides are largely to blame and at least 2 species of bees are extinct in the UK according to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/why-bees-need-help/).
The global picture is largely similar. Kelly Marciano from Natural Light Candle Company has this to say about bees:
“They work seven days a week. They travel up to five miles to and from hundreds of ‘workstations’ making up to 40 trips a day. These non-paid workers are responsible for providing one third of your food and they are completely oblivious to the millions of dollars of agricultural services they perform each year. Bees! Saving the Bees in Indonesia Yes, one third of the worlds food depends on BEES. If bees disappear, so will many of our fruit and vegetables, including: apples, avocados, cherries, cashews, coffee (get out!), broccoli, lemons, berries….and the list goes on. As you may have heard from many sources by now, there has been a world-wide decline in the bee population the last few years. Since 2006 beekeepers in the USA, Europe, and Australia have been reporting that their honeybee populations have been dying off at increasingly rapid rates. In 2015 alone, the USA lost one third of its bee population! Australia and Europe are also experiencing similar losses. The decline is due to aggressive agricultural practices, use of pesticides, and climate change, as well as bee mites and diseases. A recent report published by the UN has acknowledged that loss of pollinators is a threat to food supplies world-wide. It stressed the importance of protecting pollinators to ensure stable fruit and vegetable output as a key factor in feeding the world’s growing population in coming decades. While the USA, Europe, and Australia have, for years, been collecting local data on bee species, their numbers and health, there are many ‘data gaps’, in other countries, especially in Asia.”(http://naturallightcandleco.com/category/save-the-bees/)
The gap in data, knowledge and bee conservation work in Asia has prompted Natural Light Candle to start a grassroots initiative called Queen Bees for Sustainability to research honey bees and help save them in South East Asia.
Kelly goes on to explain that “in Indonesia the bee population has been drastically affected by the practice of slash and burn agriculture. As a result, vast areas of the rain forest have been destroyed. The majority of Indonesia’s honey and bee-keeping activities are in the forest.
(Photo courtesy of Natural Light Candle Company)
The fabled wild honey hunters of Borneo, Sumbawa, and many other islands have for decades and perhaps even hundreds of years lived in harmony with the forest. These farmers collect wild honey in a sustainable way and with no impact to the forest and it’s inhabitants. Orangutans, elephants, the rhino, the slow loris, and bees…are all native to these forests and are under serious threat.”
What’s queen bees for sustainability about?
Natural Light Candle Company’s mission is to support sustainable beekeeping within Indonesia, as part of the global initiative to save bees for the greater good of conserving honey and increasing food security. The initiative will take on research, collate data and work with stakeholders like beekeepers, honey collectors, and farmers living in bee populated areas across the Indonesian archipelago.
Specifically, they will help farmers in Indonesia continue to grow their beekeeping activities in a sustainable and economical way to benefit their families, the farming community, and the honey and wax industry, as well as, having a positive impact on Indonesia’s natural environment and food resources. The initial focus will be on honey producing Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sumbawa, Flores, Timor, and Bali. This is all part of the global picture of conserving bees.
TO SUPPORT THE QUEEN BEES FOR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE, LITTLE TROVE WILL DONATE 2% OF ALL SALES OF NATURAL LIGHT CANDLES TO THE INITIATIVE.
TO FIND OUT MORE, PLEASE CONTACT RAMONA.HIRSCHI@LITTLETROVE.COM