The Protectors of Bees "Apiyauya"

Apiyauya

4. Quality Education 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 15. Life on Land

Overview

Apiyauya is a small business based on permaculture, dedicated to the conservation of the environment, and protecting the native bees of Mexico, it also offers a line of different products with their honey and it was founded by the current owner, Mariana Torroella Torres. Thousand of people still don’t know this, but bees were declared the most important living species on the planet by the EarthWatch Institute during the last meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Apiyauya is honored to protect bees by offering them a safe sanctuary with comfortable hives where they can happily live, and takes part of the honey they produce to develop products based on it, addressing SDG 15 (Life on Land) simultaneously Apiyauya takes pride to give environmental educational programs to schools, teaching kids their own business practices such as “How to create your own compost” addressing SDG’s 4. (Quality Education), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action).

Authors

Alexia González

Alexia González

Ximena Figueroa

Ximena Figueroa

Sophia Madrid

Sophia Madrid

Pablo Gilberto Horak Mata

Pablo Gilberto Horak Mata

Brigitte Mazaba

Brigitte Mazaba

School

Universidad TecMilenio

Universidad TecMilenio

Professor

Sara García

Sara García

Innovation

Mariana created Apiyauya to finally take action towards the serious environmental issue we are facing nowadays "Apiyauya arises from taking serious actions for the environment. Leaving a better future for the next generations, you, my son and your grandchildren." Apiyauya it’s based on permaculture, a lifestyle where everything you do is focused on doing minimal damage to the environment by developing eco-friendly activities such as the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, recycle), and it's also part of Mexico’s “Tree Balance'' businesses, characterized by 3 crucial elements: environmental benefit, social benefit, and economic benefit.

“As we've been protecting the bees, our lifestyle and business operations have changed to permaculture practices” because they wanted to develop all the business operations with the minimum environmental damage as possible, emphasizing SDG 13 (Climate action) and SDG 15 (Life on land), hence the blossoming of “Apiyauya’s environmental educational programs”. Apiyauya offers six environmental educational programs, such as: “Beekeeper for a day”, “Responsible consumption in the home”, “How to recycle oil”, “How to make your own compost and vermicomposting”, etc. Correlating with SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

The Protectors of Bees "Apiyauya"

Inspiration

Mariana talked with a friend about the extinction of bees in 10 years, she said that this was a very pessimistic scenario that this would not happen and that if it did happen, it would not affect anything because "the bee is only an insect that stings” and that, there were animals much more important and in worse conditions.

Fast forward a few years, Mariana read an article called “Bees in danger of extinction.” The article reminded her of the talk she had with her friend back then. After she understood how important the existence of bees are to preserve earth’s well-being and our own existence in the process, especially the existence of future generations that her son is a part of, she decided to start protecting the bees by building safe and comfortable sanctuaries for them, but for this she needed an income, so she asked a friend that sells necklaces and bracelets to give her some, so she could sell them in her son’s school fair and with the sales profit, she could start doing the first steps for the creation of Apiyauya.

As she was saving the bees, she was planning the creation of products based on the honey they produced, and at the same time the creation of specific educational programs such as free reforestation so that the bees could have new homes and that even with it there would be other benefits for the environment.

Overall impact

Apiyauya has had a general impact in various parts of “Veracruz Port”, especially due to the programs it carries out such as the free reforestation of schools and neighborhoods, as well as other program to carry organic remains to be able to make compost, they leave an incentive that for each visit one can take a product from them in exchange. It has also not only impacted people from communities, but especially future generations, which would be children and adolescents who constantly visit Apiyauya to experience the tour of the place and be able to listen to the talks they are given about the importance of bees, and what can we do to avoid having a greater polluting footprint in the world.

Mariana told us that, before the pandemic, Apiyauya’s team used to do their environmental educational programs for public schools that didn’t have enough resources to pay for their tours, but were financed because they also received private schools that paid for the tours and environmental educational programs.

The main objective for them is to make a better world for future generations, but she emphasizes that both adults and youth need to start making drastic changes in our life, because we are at a critical point where we are facing environmental problems of every kind.

Business benefit

As mentioned before, the honey products sale came long after, as the bee sanctuary building plans had been developed. Mariana told us, that in order to finance those plans she had, she started selling products which came from the bees, and over time lots of other products and services started to earn a space in her business, the one she calls “El gallinero” (chicken coop).

For Mariana, money isn’t a priority, remuneration or something that captivates her mind. But bees are something that have always been on her mind, and the fact that products exist doesn’t mean that she is planning to make a big business out of it. Instead, she told us that due to her personal philosophy, she didn’t wanted to fall into the massive production system, because then the quality of their products could be lost in the process, as she has a strong position against consumerism, that’s why she wishes to teach the largest possible amount of people the reason why you can’t have more than what you strictly need.

Even though she says that the vast majority of her consumers accept that philosophy and of course, pay the right price for her products. They know that an important percentage from their purchase is going to be designated to good causes, such as reforestation or the continuous visits of low resources schools. Even though some might perceive the prices as “expensive,” it is precisely because they weren’t “easy to make” and there were a lot of people involucrate in the process. She reiterates that for her “the employees are the main support of Apiyauya, without them I couldn’t have Apiyauya and it is very important that they have the same ideals as you do to make everything work perfectly”.

Social and environmental benefit

Apiyauya it’s part of Mexico’s “Tree Balance” businesses bringing an economic benefit, social benefit and an environmental benefit.

The benefit society receives from Apiyauya can be seen through the results they get through the environmental educational programs they offer to schools of low resources. The ones they give to the schools are able to pay for the opportunity to have their young students learn about one of the six topics Apiyauya offers, in the case of “How to make your own compost and vermicompost?” Apiyauya’s team teaches the kids how to implement them themselves by making them follow the instructions step by step, in this way the kids get more involved with the programs and learn better, while they are encouraged to develop them in their own homes. It also can be seen in the free reforestation they do to schools and neighborhoods or subdivisions where they also teach the kids step by step and encourage them to take pictures of the process with their friends.

Finally, by putting everything Apiyauya does together, we can appreciate the magnificent benefit the environment gets from Apiyauya. Mariana said “Today, we are at the highest level of endangered species in earth's history, because of the huge contamination we have that has been provoking climate change and lack of water and many other problems." This is thanks to the irresponsibility of big companies towards the exploitation of natural resources and living species. Instead, Apiyuaya protects the most important living species…the bees and provides them safe and comfortable hives where they can live in peace. They also volunteer to preserve the spider monkey in their installations. And at the same time Apiyauya operates their business based on “permaculture” that it’s against the damaging environmental actions the big companies do. They even promote the change of harmful habits to the earth day to day with programs that share and teach all the activities they’ve honorably learned through their business journey. This all addresses SDG’s 4 (Quality Education), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action), and 15 (Life on Land).

Interview

Mariana Torroella Torres, Founder and Business Owner

Photo of interviewee

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Apiyauya

Apiyauya

boca del rió, Veracruz, MX

Business Website: http://www.apiyauya.com/

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Apiyauya is a small business based on permaculture, dedicated to the conservation of the environment, and protecting the native bees of Mexico, it also offers a line of different products with their honey and it was founded by the current owner, Mariana Torroella Torres. Thousand of people still don’t know this, but bees were declared the most important living species on the planet by the EarthWatch Institute during the last meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Apiyauya is honored to protect bees by offering them a safe sanctuary with comfortable hives where they can happily live, and takes part of the honey they produce to develop products based on it, addressing SDG 15 (Life on land) simultaneously Apiyauya takes pride to give environmental educational programs to schools, teaching kids their own business practices such as “How to create your own compost” addressing SDG’s 4. (Quality Education), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action).