A young beekeeper produces more than he expected and shares with others in need
Aníbal José Madriz, 28, lives in Rio Cana, Honduras, with his wife Martha, and their mothers and siblings.
Just out of curiosity, I started beekeeping with two hives four years ago. Previously, I had worked in agriculture with corn, yucca, beans, and plantains.
I never thought that beekeeping would be so productive. It’s not difficult to be a beekeeper; the only thing is that the equipment is expensive for us. But by the time Samaritan’s Purse visited in 2012, I had five hives.
Samaritan’s Purse trained me in accounting, by-products from the hive, collecting pollen, harvesting, basic hive management, and other things. A beekeeper who has worked with Samaritan’s Purse and the technician from Samaritan´s Purse encouraged me, provided me with things so I could increase my hives, and trained me.
Initially, I harvested three bottles per hive. Putting into practice the knowledge they gave me, including multiplying my bee colonies, selecting healthy species, knowing when to separate the hives, and changing of the queens annually, has helped me to increase to what I have today—35 hives, with a production of 12 bottles per hive.
So far in 2014, I have garnered 300 bottles from the hives. This year has also been better because I have managed to get two harvests, as the climate and rains have come at the right times. I am now making a 50 percent profit by selling 750 milliliter bottles for $6 each.
Due to my increased sales, I have been able to help my sister go to school, start a new house for my wife and me, buy food for the family, and purchase some necessary materials for beekeeping.
Before, I thought I wasn’t able to help others. I’m truly grateful to God that I’m now able to give back an offering to Him through my local church.
A note from Samaritan’s Purse staff in Honduras: Aníbal could have kept more beehives for himself, but he has chosen to help others. Four young people who wanted to start beekeeping received two hives each from Aníbal. He also donated two hives to the children’s home in Choloma, Cortes.
When you calculate it in terms of money, he has given 20,000 lempiras ($1,000 USD) to benefit others. Aníbal was surprised when we showed him the value, as he always thought he was too poor to help anyone. We admire Aníbal’s big heart.