It all started with an analysis regarding environmental conditions and their negative incidence on the population of bees; the best pollinating insect in the world. Taking into account the large conservation area existing in the Tequendama estate, we decided we could set aside space for a hive and produce honey. This would have the additional benefit of multiply the number of bees on the site and, therefore, the pollination of wild and cultivated plants. With this objective in mind, by early 2015 we had installed 40 hives of Apis mellifera. After two long seasons, one extremely dry and the other extremely wet, both with very poor flowering, the ecosystems had recovered enough to provide us with our first harvest: 330 liters of pure honey. This honey was obtained in a forest that is part of a conservation area of an oil palm cultivation developed with organic farming practices, free of chemical synthesis agricultural inputs.

Tequendama uses an agricultural system of farming that employs activities related to agricultural production, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Tequendama´s apiary is part of this process: the forests located in the estate have become a place for shelter and protection for bees producing quality honey while they pollinate the vegetative cover of the soils used for oil palm and other crops, which are part of the farming economy of neighboring communities.

The main goal of this project is not only the opportunity to transfer the knowledge of a new economic activity to small scale growers, but also to strengthen their awareness vis-à-vis the conservation of natural areas. These areas are mostly made up of cut stalks and fallow land, with great potential for hosting different species and protecting water sources that are vital for farming activities.

DAABON’s honey is a wonderful opportunity to show that it is indeed possible to produce palm oil while conserving the natural environment.