Apiculture has been a passion for humans since ancient times. Stone tablets recording beekeeping practices have been found in Egyptian tombs dating back to 700BC, and while methods of beekeeping have taken on numerous forms over thousands of years, it wasn’t until 1789 that the first man-made hive was created. Since then, the practice of apiculture has developed to become a worldwide phenomena, and as the world deals with rising populations and food shortages, beekeeping is becoming more crucial than ever.
The revival and encouragement of apicultural practices amongst indigenous communities through bee colony production in the Nilgiris is at the core of Keystone’s work. The Nilgiri Biosphere Region is considered one of the 12 biodiversity hotspots of the world, yet various alterations of landscape use by humans has drastically reduced bee population and habitat in the region. Through Keystone’s efforts and the interest of local people, farmers in the Nilgiris have been trained in the art of beekeeping, providing both a source of livelihood and providing stability to a fragile ecosystem.