I met a remarkable young man recently. The kind of person who gives you hope for the human race. A man with a dream, the discipline and knowledge to see it through.
His name is Mario Esteban Moreno Céspedes. To say he is a beekeeper understates who and what he is. He loves bees and has dedicated the last 10 years of his life to them – and he is only 19 years old. He keeps hives in Guanacaste, goes to University to study biology and English, and travels the province to educate people about the bees and their importance to Guanacaste.
Although he keeps more than one type of bee, his specialty is Mariola bees, small stingless insects that produce a very high quality honey, prized for its flavor, and some say, medicinal use.
Céspedes says that the Mariola population has been reduced to 40% of what it should be in a healthy environment. His goal is to bring it back to 100% and that is where Samara comes in. He has started a program to offer classes and to install hives in the homes of responsible families who are willing to learn about the bees and provide the kind of support that will allow them to prosper once again. He only asks that those who can afford it make a small contribution when he visits to help cover his costs. There is no charge for the bee box and colony.
The honey produced stays with the family who cares for the bees.
Samara has proven to be a great location for the bees. Production of honey is high and the bees he has brought here are thriving. Participants need to provide a shelf for a bee box in a protected location (protected from direct sun, rain and from being disturbed by children and animals- the bees are a bit timid). Because these bees cannot sting there is no fear of injury to humans or pets.
Céspedes’s plan is to establish a large number of hives in Samara, spend a year educating people here and then move on to repeat the process in another Guanacaste community. Why? Because he loves his bees and he believes this is a place they will thrive. He wants Guanacaste to be a clean environment with an educated population that supports the natural processes that keep this place healthy. And more than anything, he wants to be a roll model, a champion for the environment and for his bees.
Mario Esteban Moreno, who is 19 years old, has engaged in beekeeping since he was 9.
If you live in Samara or the surrounding communities and would like your own hive, you can attend a class or contact Céspedes directly at 8576-2036. He also sells his honey at the Samara Organics.