I’ve had the opportunity to work with honey bees in about 35 different countries around the world. And as I visit places and I experience their bee keeping and I view what they’re doing, I’ve gradually learned a lot of things that work and a lot of things that don’t work. Bee keeping can be an excellent sideline activity for income generation. It has, sort of like the perfect storm of characteristics. It builds here in Vietnam on a tradition of people keeping bees. Honey has a very high value- they can sell the product very easily. Um, the bees are part of the natural environment. The bees that are here in this apiary are pollinating people’s fruit trees in a kilometre in all directions from here. Just the whole set of conditions here were extremely favourable for low scale bee keeping that would be highly profitable. We knew we had to get the people working with the bees and doing things with the bees so that they could really learn the concepts. We’re giving people the knowledge of the bees and the management of the bees that all fits together in a system that’s integrated with the seasonality of when it rains and when it’s cold and when the bees need to be fed and so forth. A big difference with this project from many others is that instead of just learning a set of techniques that they apply without really understanding when or why they should do the things they do, these trainees have actually put it all together into a system that they’re actually able to innovate and create novel solutions to problems that we never would have thought were possible. Most people when they think of bee keeping, they think of honey. And that’s really the way we designed the project- thinking about getting people involved in bee keeping so they could produce honey or more honey than before and to sell that for a profit But what’s emerged it that probably 80 per cent of the bee keepers also sell bee colonies. In addition to that, quite a few of them have learned how to raise queens very, very successfully. So they raise queens and they actually sell them to other people. Or within their own commune and with their friends, they may give them away to other people. When a bee keeper sells a bee hive of bees, often going with the bees is training. So they not only give the bee hive or they sell the bee hive to somebody else, but then they’re obligated to come and help solve the problems and give the training. And through this method, uh, with each individual bee keeper selling 2-5 to 10-15 colonies of these a year, the bee keeping technology is extending very, very quickly across a much larger area than we ever imagined it would. Within the small area, they now have essentially all of the components of a complete industry that I think will allow them to be sustainable with this activity far into the future.