Did you know that you can give honeybees as gift? Actually it’s a much-needed investment in beekeepers in developing countries. And here’s the great part – you can make your donation as a gift in the name of that hard-to-buy-for beekeeper. If you’re a beekeeper, well…you may want to do this because it’s a wonderful way to share the buzz of beekeeping.
Kiva Micro Loans
If you’ve never heard of them, Kiva is a non-profit organization with the goal of alleviating poverty by providing “micro loans” to create opportunities for entrepreneurs in developing countries. A donation of as little as $US 25.00 can help someone start a small business to support their family.
MacCartney Taylor over at Learning Beekeeping has the best description of the feel-good nature of the Kiva experience. He’s a member of Kiva’s “Endangered Beekeepers Team” whose 132 members (at time of writing this) have made 1065 loans worth $28, 775.
“So I’m a quiet member of Kiva, the microloan folks. When I began, I just loaned to sub-Saharan African women, due to my knowledge of the conditions there. But I joined a ‘group’ on Kiva called the ‘endangered beekeepers’, and now they email everyone when a lendee pops up who’s a beekeeper. We all jump on the loan and if you aren’t fast, that beekeeper is already funded.
It’s a fun way to beekeep without beekeeping. Helping a fellow beekeeper in Armenia, Tanzania, or Turkey get more hives and operating funds to expand. Over there, they are profitable without government subsidies, more than we can say in the US where we have an extra $4 artificially boosting our honey price thanks to the honey packers lobbyists.”
Oxfam has a program to help new beekeepers get their start in Haiti – a country that’s still struggling to overcome the devastion from the 2010 earthquake.
While this may not be the perfect gift idea for every beekeeper, we feel it’s a absolute winner for everyone concerned. Try it, you love it!