“The boys, girls, and staff have been trained. The kids are starting to raise stingless bees to produce honey. We now have six hives on the farm. Little by little, we’re harvesting honey!”
Now, this isn’t just honey: It’s pure, local honey. Most brands sold in supermarkets contain additives and preservatives, so the products of our hives are a fine luxury good. The children can sell the honey for pocket money, and we hope they’ll feel proud to be producers of such a rare item.
The honey will also have plenty of uses around the safe homes. For one thing, they can cook with it. Professional chefs visited the Round Home this spring and taught the children to make yema (recipe here!), a favorite Filipino candy. Since then, the kids have made it every week. As they harvest, they’re starting to substitute it for sugar in the yema recipe. Honey is also an important part of our goats’ diet — it’s mixed in with their water every day.
With the arrival of these bees, our home continues to promote the value of sustainability.
We want the children to grow up to be people who contribute to the world, care for it, and cultivate it. Appreciating this will make them good citizens of the world. We hope they realize that when they live like this, they’re living better than the people who harmed them in the past.
At the end of every flight, each bee flies back into her hive, carrying the golden pollen she has picked up from dozens of flowers planted in recycled bottles near the hives. Between harvests, the children will have to resist the temptation to open the hives each day to check on the honey-making process. It will have to be enough for them to remember that good things are happening in those little wooden houses, gradually and silently and invisibly. The children can learn from the bees: Sometimes change, no matter how sweet and rich, can only be seen from the inside.