The IAC is dedicated to supporting beekeepers in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean. Iyanola is the indigenous name given to Saint Lucia and it was used in our collective out of respect for the traditions and eco-consciousness of our first peoples.
Initially, our primary objective as individuals was to offer good quality pure honey to the local market, with the possibility of exporting our products to the wider region, and internationally. This has not been possible due to international trade restrictions.
Over the last four years we have observed a gradual decline in honey production due to a combination of factors such as the effects of climate change (increased extreme precipitation), loss of viable forage due to human activity, and the use of harmful toxic chemicals in the Banana sector to combat Black Sigatoka.
To compensate for this dramatic reduction in revenue, it fostered a collective approach which refocused our joint efforts on the production of bee packages for sale, manufacturing of hive equipment and the training of new beekeepers who wished to enter the industry.
Collectively the group presently has 7 apiaries, which house on average 190 – 280 hives, and sells the produced honey to individuals, supermarkets and souvenir shops across the island. In addition, members of the organization specialize in relocating wild swarms from commercial and residential structures.
In 2019, The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme (SGP) St. Lucia developed a project to bring beekeeping to the forefront within the Southern Hemisphere, mostly in the Caribbean. They were successful in receiving a grant to implement an innovation program, with South-south cooperation, in the field of apiculture in seven participating countries namely St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.
This initiative will see the development of a south-south regional apiculture industry, with all participating countries benefiting from the competitive advantage brought about by collective efforts of the production of hive and hive products.