It is a known fact that Barbados is the region’s largest importer of honey per year. The greatest source confusion, however, is the ‘Why?’. Why is it that one of the island’s best kept secrets for so long remained a secret for so long ESPECIALLY when it could have been saving- oh, let’s see- about one million dollars BDS a year in imports? Why is it that, only since 2015, has there such a high and palpable demand for locally produced honey recorded within the general public according to the latest survey? Questions that will, ultimately, go unanswered but the point is that we are right here where we are and are continuing to move in the right direction.
It was this initial need to explore the prospect of locally produced honey that lead to the formation of the Barbados Beekeeping Association long before there was ever a unanimously expressed demand for it. Those many years spent being overlooked and in relative obscurity, however, did nothing to deter the hobbyist and dedicated professional beekeeper alike from endeavoring to promote, develop and actively encourage investment in what was later categorized as a potential breakthrough industry. Oh, if only we had known.
However, it is not just honey that has been keeping the industry alive in Barbados. The innumerable vital roles that bees themselves play in two of the island’s most important industries (food and agriculture) through the pollination services employed by both small and large farmers make the survival and maintenance of these insects and their hives and colonies intrinsically linked to our own survival as a people. The simple truth is that populated countries with agricultural industries depend on bees; heavily populated countries with strong agricultural industries depend even more on bees. Hey, the truth stings sometimes!