Man’s best friend may be a dog, but beekeeper Manuel Juraci’s best friend is a donkey named Boneco. Juraci is an inventor and beekeeper from the town of Itatira, Brazil. He wears the standard beekeeping uniform while on the job, and to keep from getting stung Boneco wears a full head-to-toe protective suit as well. The unlikely pair is turning heads and bringing home more honey than ever before.
Juraci is one of around 120 beekeepers in the small town of Itatira, which is in the Brazilian state of Ceará. Farming is difficult in Itatira because of the region’s arid climate, and many in the area, Manuel included, have turned to honey production as a livelihood and means of support. But among the beekeepers, the team of Manuel and Boneco are among the most successful: Manuel can bring far more honey to market with the help of his friend than he could otherwise. To protect Boneco, Manuel developed the full body beekeeper suit that the donkey wears.
Manuel is something of an inventor, known locally as Professor Pardal. His design has been noticed not only by other beekeepers, but also by the Association of Honey Producers, who would like to see more of these suits made for their own donkeys. Manuel is considering their offer, but insists that it isn’t just the suit that makes him successful; it’s the hard work of his faithful friend, Boneco.