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Hive Minded

NGO'S, Independents & Film


Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We believe livelihoods are sustainable when people have the means to take advantage of available resources and have the resilience to overcome difficulties. We value and respect local skills, recognizing that local people have developed a relationship and understanding of their environment. We believe self-reliance and empowerment can be enhanced through access to knowledge and information. We promote the use of local resources and we do not send equipment or bees to poor countries. We advise the use of indigenous bees. This allows the maintenance of healthy strains of bees and helps to combat the spread of the bee health problems.We believe building capacity through information and knowledge sharing leads to self-reliance and empowerment of the poor. We believe the best hive type is one that is appropriate to the local context, is good for bees and affordable for beekeepers. We believe incomes can be raised by teaching beekeepers to analyze and understand their local market environment.


The mission of Bees Without Borders is to educate and train impoverished individuals and communities in beekeeping skills and the value of beekeeping for poverty alleviation. Bees Without Borders is the brainchild of Andrew Cote.Through the U.S. State Department's USAID, Andrew volunteered to go to Iraq for the summer of 2005 to assist Iraqi beekeepers. In 2007 he spent the summer in the Niger Delta teaching beekeeping. He spent January of 2008 in Kerala and Tamil Nadu in southern India , bring beekeeping skills to a small village cooperative. In 2010, Bees Without Borders traveled to Fiji , Ecuador and Haiti to work with local beekeepers. In January 2012, Andrew and Bees Without Borders traveled to Kenya.


A group of indigenous women are challenging ancient social norms in order to preserve an endangered species: the stingless bee known as Melipona Beecheii. Traditionally the prerogative of men in Mayan culture, beekeeping is providing this collective with a source of income and a reason to keep the species from going extinct.


What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.


Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (The Boat is Full) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees (reminiscent of Microcosmos) in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis.


(pronounced "Ball-yole-ew"), is the first honey tasting walking journey of its kind. Our program is led and inspired by local women who are training to become world-class beekeepers & rural entrepreneurs. 

Balyolu is a holistic rural incubator for artisanal product entrepreneurs, funded by tasting trekking tours & socially conscious consumers. We are the world’s first honey-tasting and traditional foods trekking program, connecting travelers to rural producers and incubating environmental village businesses. We aim to increase transparency and the ethical production of traditional products which have corrupt marketing and production reputations, while benefiting rural communities. We use proceeds from trekking tasting tours and 20% of product sales to fund our company, providing grants and incubation services for women and their families to start village businesses that are based on traditional environmental products, small- scale tourism, and niche food experiences. Specifically, we have begun our work with women beekeepers in Turkey’s Northeast, starting a honey-tasting tourism program that supports the heritage and diversity of traditional foods in the face of honey corruption and massive internal migration.

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