Image for The Georgian farmer with a passion for beekeeping

The Georgian farmer with a passion for beekeeping

When just a boy, Zaza learned how to take care of bees. Now, he provides his community with honey

When just a boy, Zaza learned how to take care of bees. Now, he provides his community with honey

People, not production lines. Farms, not factories. Agriculture, not agri-business. From ice covered northern Sweden to the depths of the Amazon rainforest, the following stories tell of the men, women and families who supply 70 per cent of the world’s food. They challenge the myth that we need industrial agriculture to feed an increasing population. Could small-scale farming offer solutions to the planetary crises we face – from climate disruption to species mass extinction? 

Reproduced from We Feed the World, an exhibition by the Gaia Foundation.

Beekeeper Zaza has been fascinated with bees since he was a boy. When he was young, he used to climb the tree in his back garden to watch his neighbour looking after her bees. Eventually the neighbour, who is now in her 90s, taught Zaza her trade and continues to help him today. Zaza now has more than 100 beehives, which provide the village and surrounding areas with honey.

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The villagers of Mushki trade produce and share the common lands, where they graze their sheep and other cattle. Zaza’s trade is limited to where he can travel to on his bicycle, as he doesn’t have a car.

But every spring, he borrows two trucks to transport the hives to the mountains four hours away. Here the bees feast on Alpine flowers during the summer months and are looked after by the local Armenian population, who ward off bears and other predators. Some months later, they bring their own hives to Zaza’s village, where he returns the favour and looks after their hives for them.

In photos: bee-keeping in Georgia

Photography by Antoine Bruy

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