In Cameroon, Guide D'Espoir beekeeepers harvest beeswax from the wild forest as they have done for centuries. They construct their hives from sustainably collected materials. After the harvest, the honeycomb is melted, filtered and collected in 25kg moulds.
Guide D'Espoir was set up in 2006 to provide those living in very remote areas of Cameroon with ways to earn money. The group has around 1,000 beekeepers in total.
Ngaoundal and the surrounding villages lie within very remote areas of Cameroon. Poor communication and transport networks in the villages where the communities are found resulted in low literacy levels and reduced opportunities to access markets.
Beekeepers use the money from The Body Shop’s trade to meet basic needs such as sending their children to school, paying for medical care, improving their housing and saving for items such as bicycles.
Because of the physical nature of traditional (tree-based) hives, the work has often been dominated by men. Guide D’Espoir actively recruits women into the apiculture activities, helping them to diversity their family incomes.
Beekeeping contributes to preservation of the Adamoua plateau ecosystem by offering an alternative to commercial logging. Additionally, healthy bee colonies are a key part of a healthy ecosystem and pollinate the local farmer’s crops.
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