Many countries in Europe are facing a worrying lack of bees for pollination of crops, a problem mainly caused by a change in EU policy favorable to biofuels, warn scientists in a study released in January 2014.
Europe has only 2/3 of the bees (with a deficit of more than 13.4 million colonies) that it needs and without rapid and direct intervention, its extinction can occur very quickly.
So we’ve come to ask for your help with the “sponsor a beehive” project. This idea consists of each of us being able to invest (for you or your children) in one or more hives, which will be kept by our registered producer Bruno Machado (297857), who will take care of it during the year. Annual work includes apiculture management in organic production mode to prevent or treat diseases, change of wax when necessary, ridge (or drawing of honey when in sufficient quantity), swarf splitting and a variety of activities necessary for the proper functioning of a beehive.
In return you will always have 1/3 of the honey production, beehives with your name and GPS location, photographs of everything that is done in the beehive and its evolution. It is necessary to take into account that being an animal, it may not always produce honey or swarms, depending on the seasonal conditions (more rain less rain etc).
Help the bees and preserve their future, because without them there is no pollination so there are no fruits or vegetables for you.
Being the highest mountainous chain south of the Tejo River, the Serra de São Mamede has an elevation with 1025 meters of altitude that rises in a quartzitíca crest, being located in the Upper Alentejo, in the District of Portalegre where the Natural Park of the Serra de São Mamede.
Its location and characteristics promote the creation of a barrier that promotes condensation, increasing levels of precipitation and humidity and together with the Serra de Arraiolos, it becomes the only Alentejo zone where it can snow.
Due to the same edaphoclimatic conditions, its fauna and flora presents a unique richness. The Natural Park was created to ensure the conservation of this unique environment.
This special pollution free environment provides the ideal conditions for the growth and development of the 800 floral species that are found here.
Thus, the honey produced in this region has characteristics that are revealed in its aroma and taste, making it a unique and exceptional product.
Alert from the University of Reading, UK, at the link below
See the video Silence of the Bees
Investment (box + beehive) – 180€
Rua Dr. Júlio Lopes,7
2500-192 Caldas da Rainha
+351 938 068 166
Frequently asked questions interested in sponsoring a beehive:
What guarantees do we have that the project has continuity (personal reasons, phenomena of nature, vandalism ...)?
Projects of this nature are subject to the same constraints of any other that fits into agricultural and agri-food activities.
The objectives of this project fall within the text of Ministerial Order no. 230/2014 of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sea, B and C of article 2.
B) Promote the expansion and renewal of the agroindustrial production structure, promoting value creation, innovation, food quality and safety, production of tradable goods and the internationalization of the sector;
C) Preserve and improve the environment, ensuring compatibility of investments with environmental standards and health and safety at work.
Therefore, it is in the interest of the project and its investors that it has a sustainable continuity over time, and that continuity will always be a determining factor in the decisions to be taken in relation to it.
If, for personal reasons, the person in charge of the project is not able to carry on his activity, a new professional will be contracted, which will give continuity to it.
The phenomena of nature being an integral part of the natural cycles of agricultural activity are factors with which we have to work but are impossible to control. As a rule, we will always have years of good honey production or swarm production.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to take into account the phyto-sanitary conditions, as if it were any other animal of the agri-livestock activity.
The project is located in an area where, to date, no acts of vandalism have been detected and places that are well-kept or difficult to reach “strangers” will always be chosen.
By investing in the hive, do I have guarantees that if my hive is unsuccessful, are steps being taken to recover or replace it?
In the case of the collapse of the hive will be assigned new swarm to each box where this happens. It should be noted that naturally, in every winters there are always swarms that die, not counting any diseases that may occur. For this reason part of the investment and the profit that can be obtained will always be to invest in the good phytosanitary condition of the hive
In Portugal, the winter bees mortality rate is 14.8%, ranging from 3.5% in Lithuania to 33.6% in Belgium, according to a study published in Brussels. So we have another variable with which we will have to work and consider, when we propose to a project of this nature.
However, if the swarm develops well, in the fall we will proceed to the unfolding of the swarm, thus creating two swarms. The owner of the hive will thus have (and in the purchase of a new box) two hives. Either the swarm does not unfold but before, if it puts new half-handle, increasing the total production of the hive.
We have insurance
If we want to protect 100% hives from vandalism and robberies, we will have to have walls, alarms, surveillance cameras and security guards. In this case the cost of sponsorship would be 10X more, and that is not the purpose of the project.
Although the economic factor is always a preponderant fact, the basis of this refers to the maintenance of biodiversity both in terms of fauna and the general agricultural productivity (pollination) of vegetable gardens, orchards and the like.
What is the success rate they have when trying to implant the hives? Once implanted, what is the average life time of the same in the region in question?
The success rate is usually high (80% to 100%). But it is necessary to consider all the diseases that the bee is subject to and even natural situations that can lead to the collapse of the hive.
In the last six or seven years, the winter loss of staff has been below 20%.
But, there may be a case of not dying any. It all depends on the natural causes and the treatments and care provided.
On average how much in how long does the hive produce honey? And what is the rate of failure to produce honey?
A well-kept and well-kept hive produces honey every year, and the crest (honey collection) is held once a year (late July, early August).
The years in which there is no honey production are rare. What can happen is that there is low production.
– Climatic conditions
– Climate change with hotter and drier summer months.
– More and larger forest fires during the summer.
– Greater flowering areas destroyed by drought and fires in late summer.
In years of low production, there is usually swarm production, so one way or another one can make a profit.
Costs associated with final production, bottles, packaging, among others?
All costs are included. That’s why each sponsor receives 1/3 of the production. The rest is to keep the project running
How is honey delivered?
Delivery can be made on-site, can be delivered by one of the team members (within the Portuguese territory), or by carrier.
If you want to sponsor more than a hive the price is always for a beehive or do they have some kind of discount thought out?
For every 4 hives we offer a Box + Swarm
How do I know which hive I sponsored?
The hive will have a name chosen by the sponsor and a serial number
How long does it take the hive to have honey since the Sponsorship?
It always depends on when you join the Project. It usually takes 1 year to receive the first honey
What is the average amount of honey produced by a hive?
The average is 20 kg per hive
If I want more honey than what the hive I sponsored produced, can I buy it?
Yes, as long as it is in stock. There are customers booking future harvests.
What is the cost of a visit to the hives?
For a visit just to take pictures or videos, about 30 minutes the price is 50€ per hive
For a visit with tasting of flavors and wines the cost is €200 per person (all inclusive)
For a visit with accommodation on request
Do you have individual protection for visitors?
We generally have limited number of individual protection. When scheduling the visit is a matter to be dealt with.
What kind of honey is produced in this project?
I'm a producer and I have hives, can I join this project?
Yes, it is in everyone’s interest, producers and sponsors. Contact us
What is the investment value of a Sponsorship of a hive?
€180 in a single payment.
Do you accept phased payments?
Yes. 3 payment of €60, at the beginning of every 4 months. However, in the absence of payment, the hive is put up for auction to the other Sponsors so that it is kept healthy.
Can I sponsor more than one hive?
Yes. However, it is our suggestion that you offer the rest to other people so that they can put their name on the hives and that they can share the project by being our ambassadors for dissemination.
Can I team up with friends and sponsor together?
Yes. The name to give the hive can be a name that is a reference to all friends. For example, if they are co-workers, they can adopt the company’s name.
I am an entrepreneur and I would like to offer a beehive to my employees, is this possible?
Yes, contact us. We have special offers for large quantities.
What is the maximum amount of hives they can have?
The quantity is unlimited. If there is space, we will seek to expand the project as it is financially robust, including expanding to other national and international territories.
On average, how often does the hive produce honey? And what is the failure rate to produce honey?
Well-treated and cared for hive produces honey every year, and the crest (honey collection) takes place once a year (end of July beginning of August).
Years in which there is no honey production are rare. What can happen is that there is a low production.
– Weather conditions
– Climate change with an increasingly hot and dry summer period.
– More and bigger forest fires during summer.
– Larger flowering areas destroyed by drought and late summer fires.
In years of low production, there is usually swarm production, so that in one way or another a profit can be made.
Our Portuguese Team!
+351 938 068 166
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Transport not included
Honey is the viscous, aromatic and sugary substance obtained from the nectar collected from flowers and processed by the digestive enzymes of bees.
WebSites of Interest
Rua Alexandre O’Neil, 1
Edifício 1, R/C, Sala 4
2750-521 Aldeia de Juso Cascais