Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Bee Preservation as Peacemaking

Project #
1212
Year
2017
Country
Palestine
School
Agnes Scott College
Proposal
1212pro
Report
1212rpt
Students
  • Andi Sweetman
  • Avalon Bonlie

Bee Preservation as Peacemaking

In hills near Bethlehem, the organic farm called Tent of Nations produces grapes, olives, almonds, and other crops on land the same Palestinian family, the Nassars, has owned since 1916. Each year the family runs a series of camps where volunteers from around the world can help work the farm. “Our mission is to build bridges between people, and between people and the land,” says tentofnations.org.

Andie Sweetman and Avalon Bonlie brought in honeyproducing beehives to help the farm become self-sustaining. “In the West Bank, there is a long tradition of beekeeping that has been largely abandoned due to conflict tensions,” write the two, who also led a beekeeping workshop for Palestinian children and teenagers. They expect that pollination of crops by the bees will increase the farm’s production. Tent of Nations also planned to start selling honey from the hives this fall.

“Each year, thousands of international people visit Tent of Nations to learn about the occupation of Palestine and the farm’s steadfast commitment to nonviolent resistance,” Andie and Avalon write. “Our project provides an achievable model for other people to work in solidarity with Palestinian farmers.” On its website, the Nassar family says it has been fighting to keep its land since 1991, when the Israeli government classified the farm as state-owned land under a law allowing it to confiscate Palestinian land if it is no longer being worked. The family’s “continuing commitment inspires other Palestinian farmers to return to and tend their lands,” write Andie and Avalon.