Since i decided to be more aware of my foot print while i am travelling, i am trying to do some activities during free time to prevent pollution of any kind, reducing water waste, disturbance… And last week, i met the organisers of an amazing initiative in Bali, about Plan Bee at the International School in Sanur. We discussed about their projects and how bringing more awareness regarding the disappearance of bees in Indonesia, which are certainly a very significant link in our food chain; along with other pollinating insects they play a crucial role in biodiversity, agriculture and ultimately food security.
I had the chance to meet Kelly from Plan Bee in Bali, she is arrived in Bali in 1997 and soon began making artisanal beeswax candles, establishing the Natural Light Candle Company. But the last few years, she had to source beeswax for the candles from Australia and Vietnam, but over time established projects with small farmers in Kalimantan and Sumatra which provided domestic production of 40 tons of beeswax a year for Natural Light. Then last year, as a result of extensive fires across the archipelago, production plunged to just 2 tons.
Not only was this a disaster for Natural Light but also for the smallholders whose farms and forests had been destroyed by thepurposely set fires used to clear land for massive palm oil plantations. To draw attention to the issue and help re-establish honey and beeswax production, Kelly started the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project Plan Bee under the name of Ratu Lestari Alami.
Long ago Albert Einstein warned, “If bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
The goal of Ratu Lestari Alami is to establish 2000 hives for honeybees on Bali, generating sustainable income through the sale of honey and beeswax and increasing pollination of cash crops. The project was created in partnership with Hatten Wines, started 22 years ago by a Balinese family, which now operates extensive vineyards in North Bali supporting almost 250 local families.
Ratu Lestari Alami launched an island-wide call to action to increase Bali’s honeybee population. Individuals and companies can work with Ratu Lestari Alami to increase honeybee populations by sponsoring a queen bee or bee hive and planting a bee-friendly meadow.
“I would like to invite readers to sponsor an item on the following wish list. The full list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sponsor printed flyers in Bahasa Indonesia for farmer cooperatives and high school students Rp. 300,000
- Sponsor a queenRp. 800,000
- Sponsor a beekeeping workshop for 20 farmers Rp. 3,000,000
- Adopt a hive – includes a recycled wooden hive, queen and colony of honeybees, planting of a bee garden, education of adjacent farmers and hive maintenanceRp. 2,500,000 a year
As individuals we can support Bali’s bees by avoiding the use of pesticides in our gardens and planting flowers to feed the bees. Buying honey and beeswax candles increases the demand for bees and supports bee keepers. We can choose to buy organic produce to support organic farmers. And if we are lucky enough to have a big garden and some trees, we can host a bee hive – an excellent educational project for kids. But support Plan Bee we should. It has never been so sweet to do the right thing.
For more information about Plan Bee, beekeeping in general and the bee population issues in Indonesia, contact Ms. Ratih Nurruhliati at email@example.com.
Please spread the word and help Kelly and all participants from Plan Bee. If you have a business in Bali to host her initiative let’s organise an event.