13 November 2019
A new Export Sector identified in St Helena’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan (SEDP) 2018 – 2028 is Honey and Honey Bees.
Due to strict biosecurity restrictions on St Helena, local honey bees are free of the major diseases that cause significant damage to bee colonies as many other bee keeping Islands and countries experience. The genetic make-up or simply the disease free attribute of the St Helena bee makes our honey very valuable as one of the purest in the world.
The honey making industry on St Helena has developed in recent years but the scale and production is still small. One way of encouraging bees to increase honey is to plant more non-invasive flowering plants for honey bees to feed from.
The St Helena National Trust (SHNT), Beekeepers Association and Enterprise St Helena (ESH) has collaborated and created a brochure called ‘The Honey Bee on St Helena – How you can help them’ which provides information on the benefits of plants to bees and encourages people to buy or grow flowering plants which will help the Bee populations thrive. Plants include Coffee, Fruit Trees, Garden Plants and Herbs.
To help Honey Bees on St Helena and provide a Honey Bee friendly habitat, residents are also encouraged to:
- Grow native plants in their garden to increase the plant population
- Grow vegetables which will attract bees to your garden to help pollinate your plants
- Endeavour to have more garden variety for bees to feed on, we can reduce the invasive plant population which compete with our endemic and garden variety plant for space and nutrients
- Work with your employer, local community, schools, and others to enhance pollinator habitat
- As a land owner or manager, provide access to forage habitat to beekeepers for their honey bees.
Chief Economist, Nicole Shamier, said:
“We appreciate the excellent work that the National Trust has done to put this brochure together with support from ESH. As you told us when we were developing the SEDP, increased honey production starts with more bee food, so even if everyone help to grow just a couple of extra flowering plants each year, this can make a difference. Of course everyone is making best efforts to water plants with captured rain water or grey water during the drought, and this will be of great help to preserve a healthy ecosystem which in turn supports the livelihoods of our beekeepers.
“We haven’t started exporting honey yet, unlike Pitcairn Island which receives a healthy income from their exported jars, but the 10-year SEDP vision is to produce enough honey for both the local and the export market, targeting very niche high value suppliers, as we do with our coffee.”
#StHelena #LessImportsMoreExports #SEDP #Honey #HoneyBees #SHNT #ESH
13 November 2019