Makay honey


Project :

Makay honey

The aim of the “Makay Honey” project is to develop a beekeeping industry in a dozen villages around the Makay protected area. The aim is to provide local people with additional income while encouraging them to respect and preserve the forests of the massif. To this end, apiaries will be set up, beekeepers will be trained and equipped, and the honey produced will be sold locally and internationally.

Beekeeping Photo_swarm

an emergency context

The island of Madagascar is exceptionally rich in biological diversity. Unfortunately, the vast majority of its forest cover has disappeared, and today this unique biodiversity can only be found in rare, preserved environments such as the Makay, a spectacular massif of ruiniform sandstone that has become a veritable treasure chest for nature.

Unfortunately, as honey-lovers, the surrounding villagers traditionally use a method of collection within the protected area that destroys both the swarm and the tree. This opportunistic “bee-keeping” contributes to the reduction in forest cover in the Makay and tends to eliminate bees, despite the fact that they are essential pollinators for the forest. At the same time, extreme poverty is a problem in this landlocked region, while the country’s natural conditions are particularly favourable to modern beekeeping and demand for Madagascan honey – known for its exceptional quality – is increasing every year. The Makay communities lack the resources, training and equipment to hope to take part in this dynamic.

“Bringing additional income to local populations while encouraging them to respect and preserve the forests of the massif”.

Beekeeping to supplement income

Our objectives

  • Get communities to make a voluntary commitment to preserving the forests of the massif on which the quantity of honey depends
  • Fighting nutritional deficiencies by improving daily energy intake
  • Guarantee the availability of a product known for its medicinal properties
  • Fighting poverty by creating a new income-generating activity (IGA)
  • Reforesting the edges of villages
  • Initiate other IGAs related to beekeeping (fruit growing and processing workshops, sales outlets)
  • Raising awareness of forest conservation and the role of pollinators in the functioning of ecosystems
Beekeeping Photo_frame

Our method

Since 2019, with a target of around ten villages over 3 years, we have set up a beekeeping sector (3 localities have already benefited). To achieve this, in each village, our two beekeeping trainers mobilise interested local residents (around twenty on average) to form an association. So began the development of a school apiary on the edge of the village, the construction of the hives and the presentation of modern beekeeping techniques to the members of the collective.

Two leaders are elected within the village association and receive a month’s training at a centre specialising in beekeeping. Once trained, employees, they monitor the proper development of the hives, plant various species so as to be able to offer a variety of flavours over time, and call on our trainers for each key stage guaranteeing the best yield and optimum quality (colonisation of the hives, treatment, swarming, extraction, etc.).

Naturevolution buys the honey in order to provide an income for the beekeepers, sells it to tourists and works with partner companies to distribute it to a high-end international network (Michelin-starred restaurants and luxury hotels). The profits generated are then reinvested in the project, as well as in social aid initiatives and the preservation of the Makay forests.

Beekeeping Drawing_old

Our needs

We need to finance training and all the necessary equipment (enclosures, hives, beekeepers’ equipment, extractors, etc.) for 3 new beneficiary villages. We also need to guarantee the salaries of the people involved in the project (3 villages in 2019, 3 in 2020), as well as covering their travel expenses. Lastly, an additional budget is needed to set up points of sale, for potting, labelling, etc.

Beekeeping Photo_beekeepers

Financing scale:

  • Purchase of an extractor : 1 500 €
  • Our technicians’ salaries : 4 000 € / an
  • A beneficiary village : 10 000 € / village (includes training, equipment, salaries and travel expenses)
Beekeeping school apiaries

“School apiaries will be set up, beekeepers will be trained and equipped, and the honey produced will be sold locally and internationally”.


This project primarily benefits the employees directly involved (beekeepers, beekeepers, technicians, trainers, distributors, etc.) and their families. It also benefits local farmers, who see their yields improve thanks to increased pollination. Lastly, it benefits all the villagers, who can take advantage of the improvement in their daily energy intake and the availability of a product known for its medicinal virtues.

Why support us?

You would like to:

  • To support sustainable economic activity that respects people and their environment
  • Reduce poverty
  • Fight deforestation
  • Help improve health conditions
Beekeeping Drawing_barrier

Who are we?

Naturevolution was behind the creation of the New Makay Protected Area, and today manages it on behalf of Madagascar’s Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

To respond to all the threats to the massif, its biodiversity and its populations, the association is deploying an ecosystem of complementary initiatives ranging from awareness-raising and humanitarian aid to agro-ecological diversification and the development of sustainable economic alternatives such as ecotourism, as well as scientific research and reforestation.

Beekeeping Photo_apiaries

Our supports

This beekeeping project is supported by La Guilde's Micro-Projects Agency.
Fondation Insolites Batisseurs Philippe Romero

We are still looking for funds to complete and extend this project. Help us make it happen with a donation!

Project updates