Cesar is a beekeeper. He keeps bees so that he can produce and sell honey to support his family.
He lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo – a country in central Africa.
Cesar used to keep his beehives in a forest. The forest was in a national park.
When the time to harvest the honey comes, Cesar uses small fires to smoke the bees out of the hives. This gives him long enough to get the honeycomb out of the hives.
Five years ago, when Cesar still kept his hives in the national park, some people from the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) started talking to him. They wanted him to move his hives out of the park forest.
At first, Cesar could not understand why they would want him to do this, and he didn’t want to help, but then they explained how beekeeping in the national park was dangerous for the mountain gorillas that live there and he started to see why it was important.
The problem is that sometimes the fires that the beekeepers light to smoke the bees out, can get out of control and burn down large parts of the forest, which is the gorillas’ habitat.
Another problem is that the beekeepers can make the gorillas sick if they go into the forest with even a cold. This can kill a gorilla who has no natural defences to human diseases.The people from the IGCP helped Cesar to move his hives to the land the park borders, so the bees can still go into the park for nectar, but keepers don’t need to enter it. They continue to work with him.
Now Cesar keeps his beehives much closer to his home, and he doesn’t have to worry about the mountain gorillas. Keeping his hives closer means that there is less chance of chimpanzees raiding them too, which is better for Cesar.