After the Successful Transition, how are the Bee Farmers Now? (I)
2020/4/23 17:42:00 本站

In February this year, at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic in China, the problem of bee farmers’ transferring came to public attention. Many people know that like a bee farmer, they live a “sounds romantic” but hard life. They are chasing the flowering season of different flowers all over the country, carrying bees and tossing among the flowers. And the flowering season of each place is very short. If the time is delayed on the road, the bee farmers will lose a lot. Therefore, the coronavirus pneumonia epidemic caused by the area closed, and traffic interruption brought many inconvenience and losses to many of the bee farmers who are waiting to be transferred. So, more than a month later, have the bee farmers successfully transferred? In addition to the transferring, what problems will bee farmers encounter?


In 2018, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) set up “Community Conservation Area for Chinese Bee ? Tongbaishan” to help bee farmers and call for all sectors of society helping solve the problem of large-scale bee death caused by pesticides. Since then, there has been a close relationship between CBCGDF and bee farmers. This time, after learning about the situation that the bee farmers affected by the epidemic could not be transferred, CBCGDF took action in time, contacted local governments at all levels to issue policy documents to allow the transfer of bee farmers, assisted thousands of bee farmers to successfully transfer, and set up a “beehive fund” to support bee farmers to resume production.


Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of CBCGDF, told the reporter that the first affected by the epidemic was the bee farmers who transferred from Yunnan to Sichuan, followed by the bee farmers who transferred to Xinjiang. “Because bee farmers went home for the Spring Festival before, and they will go to Xinjiang after the Spring Festival to start spring breeding. Turpan is not only a base of delicious grape but also a very important base for bees to pollinate and collect honey.”


Wu Haijian was one of those bee farmers who “detained” in Yunnan. He comes from Hubei Province. His family is a beekeeper of two generations. His father started beekeeping in 1988, so he is now kind of following in his father’s footsteps. In his opinion, beekeeping is not only hard work but also a business without a stable guarantee. “Beekeeping depends on natural income. This year, I may earn more than 100,000 ~ 200,000 RMB, but next year, I may lose all those incomes.”


Wu Haijian has to be transferred many times a year, or even seven or eight times a year. Every year, he will go to spring breeding at Yunnan Province in December, then go to Sichuan Province in February next year, and then go to Hubei Province to catch the rape flower season. After the rape flower season, he will catch another orange flower season in Hubei, or he can go directly to Shaanxi to catch the apple flower season, and then wait for the Sophora flower season. In the middle of June, those beekeepers will go to Qinghai to catch the rape flower season again, and then go back to Shaanxi to pick buckwheat honey; until late August, they will return to their hometown in Hubei Province and wait for December to start the new year’s transferring cycle.


This year, he was scheduled to leave Yunnan at the end of February and return directly to Hubei. However, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, although Yunnan promised to release, Hubei did not accept his entry, then resulting in detention. The beekeeping association in his hometown helped him contact CBCGDF, who found the superior department and finally helped him go home smoothly.


From March 6th, Wu Haijian joined the WeChat group chat of CBCGDF to March 9th, when all the formalities were completed and he started to load the car, the whole communicating process lasted only three days, and his way home was also very smooth. On March 11th, he returned to his hometown.


Dr. Zhou Jinfeng also praised the governments at all levels in Hubei Province in the interview. “Hubei is the most serious epidemic area in the country, but after receiving our proposal letter, they specially issued documents to support the mobilization and transfer of bee farmers”, he said. “from the application process to the policy permission, then to the specific implementation of the policy, every step is very smooth.”


The college volunteers under CBCGDF also played an important role in this process. At that time, although there was policy permission, the policy was not released in a time when it was implemented. Also, there are many obstacles for bee farmers on the road, and the staffs of CBCGDF were extremely busy at that time. To this end, CBCGDF mobilized a group of college student volunteers to communicate through the telephone. Cao Yu is one of these student volunteers. “I wanted to do something meaningful while staying at home during the outbreak. Helping bee farmers is part of my recovery from the epidemic”, she said.


Cao Yu told the reporter that there are more than a dozen college student volunteers like her. Some people are responsible for contacting bee farmers, local governments, and relevant staff, and others are responsible for collecting information to know which bee farmers need help. They are all in the WeChat group chat with the bee farmers established by CBCGDF. Once someone has asked for help, student volunteers will contact them directly. Most of the beekeepers who ask for help are going to transfer from Yunnan to Hubei, “We will ask them what they need and where they want to go. If the local government wants them to go back, but there is a lack of vehicles, we will also find CBCGDF to arrange vehicles for them and help them transferring.”




(Photo credit: CBCGDF)

Original Chinese article:

By / Xue Tongtong Modified / Maggie