#GoLocal, support the bees and adopt your own hive

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This week we celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship and each day we will highlight a different homegrown company, because SMEs are on the front line and the first to be hit by any economic changes.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Dubai’s economy, representing 95% of all establishments in the Emirate. These SME businesses account for 42% of the workforce and contribute around 40% to the total value add generated in Dubai’s economy.

We hope our features will inspire you to #golocal and support small businesses.  Do get in touch if you are a homegrown company with a sustainable edge and we will add you to our directory.

#staysafe #stay connected and #golocal


Q&A with Myhive, Sustainable City

Bees are the world’s most important pollinators and are responsible for an incredible 30 to 40 percent of our food. Yet this little creature is under threat due to many different environmental factors. Myhive at The Sustainable City is an initiative dedicated to promoting the importance of bees within our ecological system whilst sharing the wonders of beekeeping. Find out how you too can have your very own pots of honey by adopting a hive and helping the bees.

Why are bees so important to the environment?

Bees play a vital role in the environment, they contribute to complex, interconnected ecosystems that allow a diverse number of different species to co-exist. As the world’s most important pollinators, they are responsible for 30 to 40 percent of our food.

I heard you also have Ghaf tree honey is this right and what does it taste like?

There are three seasons of honey production which happen in a year. The honey produced in these seasons tend to have distinctive and differing tastes.

  • Al Ghaf Honey: Produced from the rich flowers of this local desert tree in June and July each year.
  • Sidr Honey: The blossom from this tree is called Yabyab which provides rich food for bees to produce honey in October and November.
  • Samar Honey:The Samar tree trunk, leaves and blossom contains Barm which provides a lot of healing benefits harvested during May and June.

Can you tell me a bit more about the Myhive project, how it was started and why?

Myhive was introduced in May 2018 (on World Bee Day) and was dedicated to promoting the importance of bees within our ecological system whilst sharing the wonders of beekeeping.

The program was also introduced as part of the food security strategies set in The Sustainable City to encourage local food production.

How can I adopt a hive and what are the benefits?

People can apply by contacting Myhive and applying to adopt their own hive. Once the adoption is granted, the owner will get the honey harvested from that hive 3 times a year (which is around 8 to 10 kgs of pure local honey).

The owner will also get access to a lot of educational information, and can enjoy three trips to the bee gardens in Hatta to visit his hive and learn about the process of maintaining these hives and extracting the honey.

Do you have any other education programmes for children etc?

Myhive program is one of many other initiatives and programs run by The Sustainable City to raise awareness about sustainability in all its social, environmental and economic forms.

One of these programs is ‘SEEd’ (The Schools Environmental Education Program) which works closely with schools to organize educational trips to The Sustainable City , and give the students a closer and interactive look at environmental and social sustainability strategies and solutions, like food security, clean energy, smart mobility, waste recycling, air quality, and more.

What is your relationship with ANHB and with the beekeepers Association of Dubai?

ANHB is our operational partner in Myhive, they work on maintaining and managing the hives in Hatta, and extracting the honey from these hives and packaging them.

With the beekeepers association, we try to help them raise awareness about the importance of honey bees to the ecological system in UAE, by providing the space to host rescued hives inside The Sustainable City’s gardens, where they are used for educational reasons.

What is the biggest threat to UAE bees and why?

Climate change because global warming will cause greater temperature fluctuations and alter rainfall patters, which may impact flora. Urbanization because buildings and pesticides in ecologically sensitive areas will impact pollination. And telecommunication because electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) has been demonstrated to affect insects including bees. The exact correlation between EMF and bees is still uncertain but suspected.

There has been some positive news for the environment as a result of the pandemic, have you noticed any impact at all?

Earth is showing signs of an ecological rebound since the pandemic and resulting lockdown. It is difficult to notice (measure) such impacts at the level of a community as such impacts are normally assessed on a larger scale (fish stocks, bird migration, insect population, etc.). On the downside, we are noticing more plastic waste in the environment (masks and gloves), which must prompt a societal response.

What can we do to help the bees, can we plant any particular kind of flowers etc?

Since bees are great pollinators, most flowering plants and trees are a welcome addition to the natural stock of vegetation. Three native species are of particular importance to bees and should be propagation through urban forestry and landscaping: Sidr, Samar, and Ghaf.

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