26 Jan 2016
Aïn El Hammam, Algeria
Organic Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Tourism

Born in the mountains of Algeria, the Apiary School of Djurdjura is a beekeeping project with multiple ambitions. In addition to raising awareness about the vital role of bees in the ecosystem balance, the apiary school manufactures environmentally-friendly products and encourages eco-development in the Djurdjura region.

The Berber part of Kabylia, northern Algeria, is a mountainous area which rises to over 2,000 meters in the mountains of Djurdjura. Beekeeping is a traditional and very old activity there. In 2013, the Association for the Promotion of Mountain Apiculture (APMA) launched the apiary school project of Djurdjura to educate locals on environmental protection and contribute to local economic development.

The Apiary School of Djurdjura is, as its name suggests, a beekeeping school. Its vocation is teaching the techniques of beekeeping, but also the transmission of environmental values. Responsible for 80% of the pollination of flowering plants, the bees have an essential role in the survival of many plant species. Yet their existence is threatened by the massive use of pesticides.

An ecological beekeeping project in the Algerian mountains | The Switchers

The Apiary School of Djurdjura has implemented a charter of best practices for beekeeping, which totally excludes the use of pesticides. Instead, the necessary treatments for the health of the hive are made with medicinal herbs, such as thyme and rosemary. This approach, beyond its environmental significance, produces a variety of organic products as well: honey, of course, but also royal jelly, pollen, or propolis (appreciated for its antiseptic virtues).

Organic bee products are sold in fairs organized by the APMA. The Apiary School of Djurdjura is also an engine for the local eco-development by creating environmentally-friendly jobs.  Indeed, it took part in the economy of the region by developing agro-tourism and educational days activities to discover the bee’s environment, the products of the hive, and the profession.  

The Apiary School of Djurdjura also hosts training for disadvantaged young women in the region to help them develop beekeeping micro-projects. Thus, while maintaining a traditional know-how, the apiary school aims to improve the living conditions of the women of Djurdjura and their families.

An ecological beekeeping project in the Algerian mountains | The Switchers
Rucher-école du Djurdjura beekeeping
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