HONEY FOR A BETTER WORLD
In the beginning there was the bees. Circa 1970, Moldova, then part of the Soviet Union, was home to 200,000 bee families raised on collective apiaries. At one theseapiaries worked Anatoli Mamaliga, who had learned beekeeping alongside his father in their small family apiary.
In 1991, Moldova gained independence. The collective apiaries closed as the land was divided to private interests. Without the apiaries, the bees began to disappear. But Anatoli, rather than give up, bought 30 wooden hives, and continued the legacy of his father on a small plot of land behind his house. Moldova still hasn’t recovered from the loss of the collective apiaries, and the number of bees available to pollinate crops and flowers, a job vital to the success of Moldova’s agriculture sector and its biodiversity, remains at about one-third of its former number.
But in 2012, Liza Mamaliga, carrying on the tradition of her father and her grandfather, founded the social enterprise Dulce Plai with a mission to restore the bee population of Moldova, and to produce great products from the apiary, all while supporting social and youth development initiatives in Moldova.
Today the Dulce Plai apiary has grown from 30 bee families to 160, from one product line to twenty-five, and the Dulce Plai team has been actively campaigning in local schools to educate youth about the importance of bees, supporting and partnering with local and international partners to design and implement rural youth development programs, and assisting beekeepers around Moldova to start apiaries of their own.
With every spoonful honey sold, we at Dulce Plai hope to leave the world a little better than we found it: with a sustainable path forward for bees, agriculture, biodiversity, and a sweeter future the next generation.