Trees That Feed Foundation

Happy Honey Bee Day!

Jamaican apiarists examine their bees. Photos supplied by Hugh Smith.

Bees are thriving in Jamaica, and we’re happy to be part of it, especially on National Honeybee Day!

Through our longstanding partnership with Hugh Smith, chief plant protection officer in the Apiculture Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, TTFF distributed 2,050 fruit trees to apiarists across Jamaica last year.

Bees rely on nectar from trees like ackee.

Bees are responsible for more than 1/3 of the food we eat. Planting fruit trees, of course, is one of the best ways we can protect them and safeguard the island’s food security too.

Smith lauded TTFF for contributing to the success of beekeepers. His group began in 2005 with 15,000 colonies of bees. Now they have over 100,000! Watch a video clip here.

The correlation between bees and fruit trees is strong. The absence of bees would lead to a significant reduction in the number of fruiting and flowering trees, as their primary reproductive mechanism would be lost. And since bees rely entirely on nectar for their sustenance, their survival would be jeopardized in the absence of flowering trees like ackee and avocado.

Recognize Hugh Smith’s name? You read about him in a recent blog post about urban reforestation.

Thanks to Mr. Smith and to all the apiarists everywhere whose work dramatically impacts food sovereignty. And thank you to our donors for helping us to feed the bees and so many humans too.

Jamaican beekeepers and government officials like the Permanent Secretary and the Minister of State planted trees together.

More about bees (and honey!)

Did you know that one of the world’s first coins had a bee symbol?
Did you know that honey contains live enzymes?
Did you know that in contact with a metal spoon, these enzymes die? The best way to eat honey is with a wooden spoon; if you can’t find one, use a plastic spoon.
Did you know that honey contains a substance that helps the brain work better?
Did you know that honey is one of the few foods on earth that alone can sustain human life?
Did you know that bees saved people from starvation in Africa?
That a spoonful of honey is enough to keep a man alive for 24 hours?
Did you know that propolis produced by bees is one of the most powerful natural antibiotics?
Did you know that honey has no expiry date?
Did you know that the bodies of the world’s greatest emperors were buried in gold coffins, then covered in honey to prevent putrefaction?
Did you know that the term “Honeymoon” (honeymoon) comes from the fact that the bride and groom consumed honey for fertility after their marriage?
Did you know that a bee lives less than 40 days, visits at least 1000 flowers and produces less than a teaspoon of honey, but for her it is the work of a lifetime.

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