Put simply, if bees didn’t exist, neither would humans. We need these vital little pollinators for the food we eat, and the food our farm animals eat. There has been a shocking worldwide decline in bee numbers (the US honeybee population is less than half the size it was 50 years ago, for example), with most wild honeybee colonies devastated by the varroa mite, not to mention widespread pesticide usage.
So why are we writing about bees on a copywriting and branding blog?
Because it is thanks to the small beekeepers of the world that bee numbers are not lower than they are and that is why this month we’re making a loan to one such beekeeper in El Salvador.
Every month we make ‘loans that change lives’ to entrepreneurs without access to traditional banking systems via Kiva.org.
The recipient of February’s loan is Amadeo De Jesús, a 66 year old Grandfather from El Salvador who has worked in agriculture for an amazing 50 years. He has been keeping bees for the last 12 years, and is seeking $1,100 in order to buy more beekeeping equipment and boxes for his hives.
Being over 65 isn’t easy in lots of parts of the world, but it is particularly tough in El Salvador. Amedeo cannot gain insurance cover, which means his access to credit via traditional financial institutions is severely limited due to the potential for health expenses. We believe that there is no substitute for experience, and that such barriers should not prevent such capable older people who are physically and mentally able to make such valuable contributions from doing so.
We were really struck by the bravery and entrepreneurship shown by Amedeo in diversifying his traditional agricultural business- he keeps cows - to include beekeeping at the age of 55. He learnt to care for the bees through his own initiative and with the help of his son, who he hopes to pass his honey production onto. We think the vision shown by Amedeo in creating this more lucrative side of his business in order for it to continue down the generations is amazing.
We were also inspired to fund Amedeo as we know how crucial bees are to the human food chain and therefore how important the work he is doing really is.
We wish Amadeo and his bees all the luck in the world (at the time of writing he is 56% of the way there with hitting his target), and if you feel similarly inspired to support him, you can help him on his way here: https://www.kiva.org/lend/1028467
(Great news, by the way- you remember Ines Margarita, our November entrepreneur? Well, we’re delighted to say that her loan was fully funded, and that she has already repaid 17% of the $325.)