The organization and union of bees inspired Manoel Pessoa de Brito, 66, from Barreiros, to create a collective apiary with the women of his community. In the statement below, he recounts details of the experience: “For more than thirty years I have kept bees and marveled at the division of labor, organization and sense of unity of these animals. When I was relocated with my family to the village where we live today, in Barreiros, on the south coast of Pernambuco, living conditions were difficult.
After centuries of sugarcane monoculture, the soil was not suitable for planting. Thinking of ways to help the community raise funds, I set up the colony’s first apiary. I gathered a group of neighbors interested in learning beekeeping, I went to the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco and I asked Professor Renata Valéria, from the zootechnics department, to give us a course for improve the productivity of our apiaries. “If we were like bees, we would live much better ․ After training, many women in the camp have taken a liking to beekeeping and have begun to replace work in the fields, which is quite arduous, with that of living on honey, which is more pleasant and more profitable.
Today, we share our tasks: while they produce and collect the honey, I build the equipment, drive the tractor, transport the boxes of bees and bottle the honey. This year alone, there were six more people interested in becoming new beekeepers, which gives me great joy․ I always try to look at my community and understand how I can contribute. I do it because I want everyone to live well. In return, I receive the joy of sharing what I know and the friendship of those around me. If we were organized like bees, we would live much better and, as Roberto Carlos once said in the song O Progresso, we would learn to be civilized like animals.