The community of Tranquilla consists of a loose assemblage of some twenty thatched ranchos on the eastern shore of Lake Alajuela in Chagres National Park, Republic of Panama. The map below was created by Matt Kania (www.maphero.com) (2011). Click on the map for a larger view of Heart's geography.
I am faint with panic, although we stand a full fifty feet from the hives. My phobia is bad enough around docile species, such as the European honeybee. Today, we face the stuff of horror films, “killer bees,” an aggressive hybrid famous for attacking en masse. I am embarking on a new project – beekeeping for subsistence farmers. The bees we will keep are the Africanized “killers” that have flourished in Panama ever since invading the country in the 1980s.
- from Chapter 25, Miel (Honey)
Want to learn more about Panama and the issues raised in Heart of Palms? Here are some links to a few great resources.
Farmer to Farmer Program (US Aid for International Development)
Associación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (ANCON) National Association for Nature Conservation
McGill University's Neotropical Ecology Lab
Traditional Plant Use and Conservation (Dr. Catherine Potvin)
Above photo by Meredith Cornett (1992)
Apiary, San Juan de Pequani