With the support of our committed volunteers and donors we’ll achieve the goals outlined in the following development plan:
Spring 2017: Intensive Training of two more Haitian Apiculturists in Canada
We’ll bring two more promising candidates from Haiti to Canada, during swarm season, for an intensive four-month apiculture/permaculture training program. The beekeeping focus will be on instructional techniques, the capture of feral colonies & swarms, and organic apiary management. When they return to Haiti they’ll be able to independently instruct new students in the art of harmoniously harnessing the hive’s energy.
Permaculture: Climate change has disrupted the farming culture of rural Haiti. Spring and Fall are now all but non-existent. Today there is only Drought and the Rainy Season. Land that had been farmed for generations is no longer productive. People are starving. We intend to positively impact this setback through the teaching of permaculture; thus, communities can share in the rebuilding of their farming heritage.
Seven Ravens Permaculture Academy http://seven-ravens.com/ has generously offered to provide two seats, at cost, for our Hives For Haiti students. This critical learning opportunity will provide our students with the knowledge to teach permaculture design & management systems to Haitian farmers so they can: capture water, rotate crops, graft, compost, prevent soil erosion, and so much more. Please see course outline for complete details. http://seven-ravens.com/courses/courses/
“Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.” Permaculture.net
Follow up phases:
- Support visits to Haiti, from David and our permaculture instructor, to assist the trainers and students with their classroom and field sessions. Note: consistent with our principles of fostering independence, we initially assist our Haitian instructors to effectively deliver their class materials to the Haitian community. Once the instructors are confident and competent, in teaching, they instruct independently.
- Providing the most basic equipment & resources to each student to maximize the opportunity for their personal success, business expansion, and sharing with their community.
Moving forward, Brian and I will gradually fade into redundancy. I.e. we’ll no longer be needed, the project will continue organically, quietly, and independently flourishing.
December 2015 update (initial phase completed):
Meet Garry St. Louis. Garry has completed 7 weeks of intensive training on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.
He resides in Petion Ville, Haiti. Garry is our valued friend, translator, and a committed contributor to Hives For Haiti.
Garry’s first exposure to bees was in Cerca Carvajal, in the fall of 2013. Unbeknownst to us, the friendly European bees that we’d intended to inspect had vacated their home and a group of unwelcoming Africanized stock had moved in. This resulted in a wild surprise stinging event; despite that, Garry wanted to continue his education in Beekeeping and he’s played a major role in adapting our practices to accommodate the influx of African stock.
During his stay in Canada, Garry managed two dozen colonies, constructed top bar hives from start to finish (i.e. milling lumber, preparing raw planks, preparing joints, final assembly, etc.), studied the biology of honey bees, attended numerous learning venues (E.g. BC Honey Producers Annual Conference, auditing B.C. Ministry of Agriculture inspection services, etc.) and completed the majority of our Hives For Haiti training manual translation from English to Haitian Creole.
Garry’s first hive inspections
Garry milling lumber for top bar hives
In the shop building bee hives
Update February 2016:
In the past, it was difficult for Brian and me to explain to our translators what it was that we wanted them to impart on the class. There we were in the field, up to out necks in bees, using English beekeeping terminology that our translators were not familiar with. Also, they had never had the opportunity to learn Creole beekeeping terminology. The language of beekeeping is very specific, not something one learns in English school or regular academic studies.
Well, in the first few minutes of our 2016 class we recognized what a great investment it had been to bring Garry to Canada. His new skill set proved invaluable. Not only has he become a competent beekeeper, his comprehension of English and Creole beekeeping terminology has made the transfer of knowledge a highly efficient process.
Class of 2016
We’ve applied for visitor’s visas for two of the students in this class (Johnny, left side middle and Simon right side, middle). Throughout the course they demonstrated commitment, proficiency in beekeeping, and strong leadership qualities. If we’re successful with their visa applications they’ll fly to Canada for two months of intensive training this spring of 2017.