Crowd funding for apiculture social enterprise in Niue
A social enterprise between some old mates is using crowd funding to help create a bee sanctuary on the Pacific Island of Niue.<!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_7132" align="alignleft" width="138"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/rsz_honey_.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7132" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/rsz_honey_.jpg" alt="Niue's relative isolation offers a natural quarantined environment for bees." width="138" height="104" /></a> Niue's relative isolation offers a natural quarantined environment for bees.[/caption]
Organiser Richard Duncan embarked upon the fundraising project with Niue Honey Company owner and beekeeper Andy Cory via Indiegogo, the US-based crowd- funding site. The primary aim is to raise funding to purchase the first round of “Save the Bee” honey bottles, the retail sales of which will be used to underwrite the creation of a Global bee Sanctuary. People can pledge from $10 up to $30,000. The campaign runs for 40 days.
Once established, a bee sanctuary could eventually “export clean, healthy and gentle bee stock to other countries.”
Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) funded design inputs and other initiatives for the Niue Honey enterprise including helping design the bottles for the honey.
The Italian honey bees were first imported to Niue Island in the 1960s and because of the island’s relative isolation, the bees have remained “in a relative state of near quarantine since the 1960s and have therefore escaped the maladies affecting the bee populations across the rest of the world,” Mr Cory says.
“These hives in Niue are home to the healthiest, most significant and sufficiently isolated stock of pure Italian honey bees in the world,” Mr Cory says.
The initiative is timely since the US has just reported a 42 per cent mortality rate amongst its bee colonies. Scientists have yet to fully explain the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) affecting the hives, but experts have warned of the dire impact widespread bee mortality could have on global agriculture, the bees being essential for the pollination of plants.
The campaign is looking for help to fast track the development of the existing apiculture operation from a regional wholesale honey sales organisation to a self-funded globally branded “Save the Bee” retail bee product sales organization. The idea is to also take healthy and gentle bee stock into other suitable Pacific Island nations as livelihood projects with other NGO and regional agency partners and then potentially into the northern hemisphere countries in order to augment pollination services.
“Clearly, it's critical to keep this bee stock protected and preserved for the ensured survival of our essential pollinators. To this end, we have launched the ‘Save the Bee’ honey: Pacific Bee Sanctuary initiative. This initiative will be a retail-focused social enterprise that reinvests a share of profits in the development of a global bee vault on Niue. It has been 15 years in the making but we are now about to launch this vital project to preserve the honey bee,” Mr Duncan says.
He urged supporters to join their effort by visiting the crowd-funding Indiegogo website (it's like Kickstarter) to learn more of the project in detail. Official supporters have some great perks but more importantly they are hoping to spread the word. “We would greatly appreciate your assistance to spread the word and help us to get this vital project going so that the food security of future generations is protected!”
For more information or to donate please go to (<a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-the-bee-creating-the-global-bee-sanctuary#/story"></a>)
For more information contact Mona Mato, Trade Development Manager, PT&I email: