Tépecxomotl is a region in northern Nicaragua where a group of young bee keepers are working to build brighter futures for themselves and their community. This industrious group has been working on apiculture (bee farming) for years, and even has specialization and is increasing their technologic hold on technical advancements. Each person receives a year of training, and then receives two hives.
There are people educated and focused on producing queens to repopulate or create new hives, and specialized honey products such as honey with bee pollen, and propolis, a by-product that has its use in traditional medicine.
The young men and women of the group were very excited to demonstrate the steps of harvesting honey, and tell us some of the benefits and difficulties of beekeeping in this mountainous region. They showed us the beekeeping outfits, how they feed the bees during the dry season, and even some inventive ways to recycle bottles to keep the bees fed and undisturbed.
Not only do the young people have their own hives, but they work in a cooperative that maximizes their production, and in turn, increases the value of their work. The group has access to sterile work environments to process the honey and is certified by the health department. The wax collected from the harvest is recycled to make more frames, and is also used to make candles and sold.
The Tépecsomoth group has also made products from local farmers, coffee, and is exploring agritourism, rural tourism and ecotourism. The abundance of small farms, unique industries, and exquisite wild beauty of the area along with the ‘recently discovered’ Somoto Canyon – declared a national monument in 2006 – are all exciting options for tourists hoping to see ‘the real life’ of Nicaragua.