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The bees produce six hive products: honey, pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and venom, all collected and used by people
for various nutritional and medicinal purposes. - Illustrative photo -

Published Thursday, June 3, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Association of Beekeeping Women, located in Turrubares Canton, San Josť province, was one of 61 small businesses that received about $8,000 in non-refundable funds.

The association is made up of 10 women, dedicated to the production of honey and were chosen to receive the funds that are part of the "Impulso Rural" program, which means "Support to Rural Entrepreneurs" in English. The funds are covered with funds from the Institute of Rural Development.

With these funds, the beekeeper entrepreneurs invested by purchasing 70 nuclei, or small colonies of bees that later form the hives. "This allows us to have a significant increase in honey production for next year and to expand our market," Xinia Valverde, president of the organization said.

In addition, the association bought the necessary food to be able to maintain the bees in the rainy season, during which it is difficult for them to find food. Beekeepers can feed their bees with a special sugar formula.

Currently, the association is producing and marketing honey for shops in their region. The funds will help them to invest in more hives and increase production to meet the demand for natural honey.

In 2020, more than $6 million in non-reimbursable funds and special loans with preferential conditions for entrepreneurs in rural areas were delivered, the institute said.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, these social and hardworking insects produce six hive products Ė honey, pollen, royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and venom, all collected and used by people for various nutritional and medicinal purposes.

Honey bees made 157 million pounds of honey in 2019. With the cost of honey at $1.97 per pound, thatís a value of a little over $339 million. But the greatest importance of honey bees to agriculture isnít a product of the hive at all. Itís their work as crop pollinators. This agricultural benefit of honey bees is estimated to be between 10 and 20 times the total value of honey and beeswax. In fact, bee pollination accounts for about $15 billion in added crop value. Honey bees are like flying dollar bills buzzing over U.S. crops, the FDA said.

Entrepreneurs interested in applying for non-reimbursable funds programs can obtain more information by calling the institute's line (506) 2247-7400.

What have you heard about expat entrepreneurs looking for non-reimbursable funds for their business? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to

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