Monday, November 28, 2011

100 Donated Beehives to Haiti: Customs Cleared and Hives Received!

FTF Staff have fun while inspecting boxes of hive parts
Around this time last year, Partners of the Americas and its volunteers rose to the challenge of donating 100 new, quality beehives to Haiti. You can read more about the use of these hives and all those who contributed to making it happen in this previous blog post. We are happy to announce that the hives have finally completed their long journey and have arrived in the office of Makouti Agro Enterprise in Cap-Haitien!

FTF and Makouti staff discuss hive design as they construct a hive box
What does it take to ship new beehives to Haiti? Once funds were raised, the hives were ordered and shipped to a US storage site before being loaded onto a sea container. Shipment was delayed a few months due to the unrest and uncertainty around Haitian presidential elections and the run-off in early 2011. The hives were then shipped by sea container and arrived in the spring, but took some time to clear the customs process before being brought to a local storage site in Port au Prince. Towards the end of the summer, the hives were driven to the North of Haiti and have been unloaded for temporary storage in the office of Makouti Agro Enterprise. It was a long journey, but these hives will serve as a model to local carpenters, students, and beekeepers in Haiti as well as a reminder of the international partnerships developed through the Farmer to Farmer Program.

In addition to the invaluable support and donations made by FTF volunteer Virginia Webb of Mtn Honey, Mark Bennett at Dadant and Sons beekeeping supply company, and Leo Blumle and his shipping contacts, we would like to thank the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies for collaborating with Partners to arrange a fundraiser screening of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
Beekeeper Noe explains to FTF volunteers how his honey and hive construction activities have allowed him to begin constructing an improved home (seen in background) for his family. These hives will help his carpenters improve their design, resulting in more durable, long-lasting hives for Haiti.

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