In addition to our commitment in education, we want to improve the local beekeeper´s network and strengthen mutual support. To this end, we aim to establish a local agricultural cooperative that will grant better market opportunities to its members. The idea behind the cooperative is to share the special equipment needed for managing the hives as well as the processing of honey. Technological development remains a key factor of productivity and profitability. By certifying the Mashavera Honey according to European organic standards, the beekeepers will be able to export to the EU at higher prices. With a market share of 22%, the EU is the world’s largest honey consumer with an increased demand for organic honey in particular.
To fulfill this vision, we intend to build an apiary center open to all members of our cooperative, fully equipped with modern facilities for honey production and bottling. This center will not only provide a sanitary environment according to modern standards, but will also provide space for meetings and lectures. We will take care of purchase and import of suitable equipment. However, as this is rather expensive and Georgia a poor country, it needs special protection.
So why not go a step further? Instead of building just a center dedicated to agricultural needs only, we want to set up an ecological Bed & Breakfast with accommodation for small traveling groups from 8-12 people. The idea behind this idea is based on two simple ideas: firstly, it would involve a tenant responsible for guarding and maintaining the equipment as well as operating the B&B. Secondly, we see a touristic need for such an accommodation as Georgia in general has a huge growth rate in the tourism sector.
Located only 1.5 hours from the capital, the Mashavera valley with its natural beauty and its cultural sites draws domestic and foreign day tourists even today. But usually they return back to Tbilisi in the afternoon because of the lack of overnight accommodation. With a rural B&B specialized in honey products, we not only create jobs for an operator and his family, but also a new attraction for the region.
Successful examples of such a concept can be found in Poland and Romania, for instance. Additionally, the combined apiary center / B&B will be equipped with a powerful heavy-metal filter system in order to ensure good water quality to its users and guests. The center can be realized either in an existing building or as a new building. As for the latter, we are aware that Georgia had a tradition as architecture laboratory in the Soviet Union. Very modern and avantgarde concepts have been tested in the small country before their implementation in a large scale. We want to continue this tradition by constructing a wood-panel construction, offering sufficient storage possibilities, and a hygienic work environment to the members of the cooperative as well as comfortable, but not luxurious, rooms to our guests.
Because of the prefabrication of the components and the lack of time for drying, good results can be achieved in very short production times. The use of standardized building materials and repetitive details turn the wood-panel technology into a very economical and effective way of building. Still, we are aware of the difficulties in construction and finance; therefore the modules will be set up gradually and depending on financial possibilities. Beyond pure function, we are working on a draft for this house in order to convince potential funders. Widespread in North America, we aim to promote this kind of ecological building in cooperation with a European producer in Georgia and create a new landmark for the Mashavera valley.