Balashi Brewery continues to highlight local businesses that are doing their part to make a difference for our community and environment.
Honey bees provide Mother Nature’s golden elixir and food source, but their vital significance to the survival of many plant and crop species, animal life, and human survival cannot be understated. According to agriculture experts at the United Nations, a third of global food production is dependent on bees, the world’s greatest pollinators and a key component of the earth’s overall biodiversity.
Unfortunately, globally, bee populations are on the decline, directly linked to human interference including pesticides, pollutants, and habitat loss. The importance of sustainable bee-keeping to help increase bee species is under the spotlight worldwide, and here on Aruba, Eco Living Aruba is a bee’s best friend, constructing bee hives around the island (currently maintaining over 50 hives) using sustainable methods.
Eco Living Aruba is owned and operated by local couple Dan and Rose Barros, practicing ethical beekeeping and producing organic honey products since 2018. “For us ethical beekeeping means not exploiting the bees, keeping the amount of the hives per location low, and diversifying the hive locations,” shares Dan, “ and by doing so we are able to keep complete control of our product quality while not disturbing the delicate ecosystem of our bees. We have been promoting sustainability in our beekeeping practices but also in our products.”
Eco Living’s sustainable practices start with the construction of the hives, using natural, untreated wood that’s ideally recycled and reused wood when possible. Dan engineers the bee hive boxes to counter Aruba’s heat and wind, as well as weathering the island’s rainy season. Giving each hive and the bees space they need, as they occur in nature, is also key. Eco Living has developed a beehive foster program, Bee A Foster, with the local community adopting hives on their land which in turn allows the bee population to spread its wings around the island, so to speak.
In addition to only using local bee’s wax as a starter strip for a hive, Dan lets the hive work at their chosen capacity and speed, and only harvests about 60% of the honey, leaving the rest for the bees.
Once the honey is harvested, Rose takes over. The honey that will be used for consumption is bottled raw, using no pasteurization. Rose also uses the honey and other natural, organic ingredients for a line of body care and home products hand-crafted in small batches. From soaps, shampoos, and soothing balms, to reef-safe sunscreen, dish soap, and even a tattoo balm.
To learn more about Eco Living Aruba and to shop online, visit their website at ecolivingaruba.com.