QUINTA DAS ABELHAS
In January 2017 we purchased 25 acres of degraded pine monoculture farmland near the Serra da Estrela mountains in Central Portugal. We named the land Quinta Das Abelhas, Honey Bee Farm in English, with the aim to bring back wildlife and create a safe space for pollinators. With strategic land interventions we witnessed how transformation of human abused ecosystems can occur quickly.
We began by removing the pine monoculture to allow light to return to the forest floor. This allowed the dormant native trees to reawaken and oak, chestnut and alder buckthorn burst through. This has been supported with additional tree and forage planting to provide extra all year-round forage required so all of life can begin to thrive.
Then through interventions such as composting, mulching, water retention strategies and seeding, we witnessed a significant increase in the number and diversity of wild flowers, plants and insects. This has led to many more pollinators, bugs, butterflies, worms and bees with the bird life increasing rapidly. Highlights have been the exotic hoopoe rearing their young and bats breeding on the land.
We also began producing and installing log hives, bee centred not honey production centred habitats, to support the honey bees returning to health. We are now placing these on other land regeneration projects across Portugal. Read more.
A Haven In Change Makers
With our environmental work as the backdrop to the story, over this time Quinta Das Abelhas became a haven for change makers to come, be inspired by nature and have space to recharge from their own work in the world. in 2020 we are pausing from this to allow us to focus on infrastructure, if you would like to come in from 2021 onwards, click here.