We, “Busy Bee”, a social entrepreneurship project supported by The Earth, are working to foster a better and sustainable life for the dwellers of Sundarbans. Our primary concern is to create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with local honey collectors and ensure sustainable development of their communities.
The honey hunter communities (Mawali) of Sundarbans are living their life where their livelihood depends on the inherited family knowledge and practical experience of honey collection. They are far away from modern technologies but yet they do have knowledge about what they do. Sundarbans Busy Bee is collecting honey directly from the Mawali community and promoting a long term & sustainable conservation solution in the Sundarbans, protecting beehives in a natural way, ensuring a better livelihood of Mawalis (the indigenous community group who collect honey) through fair trading.
From every 1 kg bottle of sales, BDT 100 will be spent to improve the lives of Mawali community, especially on those women who have lost their Husbands on Tiger attack and have been ostracized and abandoned by the society, claiming they brought bad luck to their husbands.
LIKE MANY NEW DISCOVERIES, OUR STORY BEGAN WITH AN ENCOUNTER WITH A SOCIAL PROBLEM
Living and working in the Sundarbans requires both men and women to work within the extreme conditions and share many of the similar threats. Yet, while survival of the men have been documented, the tale of the Sundarbans women remains hidden like the mist of a goddess that sometimes emerges in the dreams of men.
While working with the people of Sundarbans, we visited a village known as ‘Village of Tiger Widows’. In this village most of the women’s partners were the victims of tiger attacks. According to the forestry department, there are an estimated 60-80 people killed every year by tiger attacks and honey collectors – Mawalis – are the most vulnerable to the attacks. From April to June, honey collectors go deep into the forest, in search of rock bees, putting their life at risk. Women who have lost their men on tiger attacks been abandoned by the society for bringing bad luck and they end up living a miserable life of poverty having no skills outside the home, as most women were married at a very early age.
Therefore, we realized the urgency to provide a sustainable, and fruitful livelihoods for the honey collector community of Sundarbans and for the tiger widows who live at its edge. Accordingly, we have designed a social entrepreneurship project known as ‘Sundarbans Busy Bee: The Sweetest Gift on Earth in a Bottle’. The project intends to establish a fair trade between the honey collectors and the consumers. This social project of ‘Sundarbans Busy Bee’ also donates BDT 100 from every 1kg bottle of honey sold, to ensure the sustainable living of Tiger Widows. In a future video we will share the dormant stories and collective experiences of the widows of Sundarbans.
It’s your choice to live a healthier life by having the Busy Bee’s natural honey and to extend your support towards the dwellers of Sundarbans where living comes at the risk of precious life.