Our latest news from Zambia
Enablon, a Wolters Kluwer business, is the world’s leading provider of Sustainability, EH&S and Operational Risk Management Software. A big thank you to seven Enablonians and their Road Crew who will ride 1-3 June 2018 before the start of the 2018 SPF EMEA conference. In 3 days they will cycle almost 330 km starting in London and ending at the Enablon office in Paris. Please sponsor this terrific team at Virgin Money Giving
World Bee Day is supported by all UN Member States and the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations. It takes place on 20th May each year and it highlights how the beekeeping sector helps poverty alleviation, preserving a healthy environment and its biodiversity.
To celebrate we have created some gift cards100% of the proceeds from this card will be used to support beekeeper-to-beekeeper training to alleviate poverty. £5 for a pack of 4 cards. Available on-line from our shop.
INTO Giving Funds Bees Abroad’s School Beekeeping Project in Nigeria
INTO Giving is an exemplary charity that supports humanitarian and community projects in the developing world. Charities/projects are nominated by INTO employees who also raise the funds used to support development activities. Each year the charity selects 1-2 new charities/projects for support. Nominations are assessed by the INTO Board, who act as administrators / trustees.
Whether it’s girls’ or refugee education (two of the big and important themes that emerged in 2016), or helping to build or refurbish a school, support teachers, or other educational projects INTO Giving is active in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. With
projects in Bangladesh, Ghana, Malawi, Thailand and Lebanon support from INTO Giving improves the lives of disadvantaged and impoverished children and their teachers. In the last year, INTO Giving donated more than £75,000 to education projects in the developing world – TWICE AS MUCH AS IN 2016!
In 2017, 28 projects were nominated by staff for consideration, including Bees Abroad’s Multilateral Grammar School Beekeeping Project. 6 projects were selected for support and we were delighted to learn that the Bees Abroad proposal came out joint top in the assessment process.
Over three years, Bees Abroad will train two beekeeping trainers within the rural government run school. The trainers will establish a school beekeeping club to include beekeeping as a topic in the curriculum, in addition to established agriculture and animal husbandry courses. The teaching apiary with 30 top bar hives will be established in the first year (2018). The project will also train 10 pupils as beekeepers, who will build their own hives (two hives per trainee), make their own bee suits and manage their colonies on their own account. Trainees come from farming families on very low incomes which in turn leads to poor nutrition, high mortality at all ages and inadequate access to healthcare and education.
INTO Giving is funding 100% of the project cost. Funding will cover the cost of delivery of beekeeping training, including training the teachers, materials needed for hive construction and personal protection equipment, provision of instructional training materials and manuals, costs of apiary establishment and harvesting equipment.
From 2020 onwards, the sale of honey and secondary products should provide an income stream for the school beekeeping club to be self-sufficient.
At the school selection day, the need for income generation was evidenced when 85 students from the junior and senior school turned up to bid for ten trainee places!
Some had previous exposure to the craft, for example through honey hunting. All were aged between 14 and 18 years old. They showed great enthusiasm which is important as training will have to fit around school and family responsibilities.
Over 98% of these students contributed financially to their households. Some run their own skilled micro enterprises such as tailoring or carpentry; others have various paid seasonal farm jobs like peeling of cassava. In the longer term, the aims and objectives of the project will go a long way to extending the capacity of trainees to contribute to financial obligations at home.
Typically, good beekeepers are naturally observant and inquisitive. We look for trainees who are aware of the environment and interested in trees, insects and plants. Those who already have some work ethic are more likely to be systematic in checking hives regularly and notice details that provide clues to what is happening in their hives, to their bees and to the local conditions. They are also more likely to be innovative – natural researchers experimenting with their own ideas and testing out ideas they have learnt or new solutions to problems.
The Bees Abroad intervention is not based on handouts – trainees will be required to build or make inputs from scratch as appropriate, from local resources, to they experience the options for differentiating roles and interests within beekeeping. Roles range from carpenters building hives, to tailors making bee suits or specialisations such as producing secondary bee products or providing pollination services, or as has happened with past projects, trainees become beekeeping trainers themselves!
Our focus is to train the students to be active beekeepers and manage their bee hives and not their bees. We emphasise producing more honey from each hive to increase productivity over having more hives to increase production. Our strategy requires better capacity building for the beekeepers and less investment in equipment.
Training is in modern beekeeping management techniques in line with the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) Tropical Syllabus. Bees Abroad will apply sustainable and ecological methods, for example hives and bee suits are made from local materials and there will be an emphasis on pollination, ecology and conservation. Trainees will be provided with Bees Abroad Basic and Advance beekeeping manuals for reference as well as practical hands on training in the field during the local bee season. The theoretical and practical training modules will be delivered by a certified (Nigerian) Bees Abroad trainer locally, whom we have worked with successfully for a number of years.
After training, students will practice beekeeping on their own account in their communities, thus creating a second income which will help to pay their school fees and support their extended families.
We always enjoy meeting our supporters. We will have a stand at the following shows this summer:
15-16 June – Three Counties Show at the Show Ground, Malvern, Worcestershire
11 July – Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate, Yorkshire
12-14 July – 2000 Trees Festival Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Glos, GL54 4BL
5th August – Gower Show, Penrice Castle Park, Reynoldston, Swansea, SA3 1LA
10-11 August – Shrewsbury Show, Shropshire
31 August – Dunster Show, Minehead, Somerset
25-26 October – National Honey Show, Sandown Park, Esher
We are delighted to announce that we have launched a project in partnerhsip with Rory’s Well to support Bee Farming in the Barri Chiefdom, Pujehun District, SW Sierra Leone.
Neil Brent a member of Gloucestershire Beekeepers and Kath Hayward visited Sierra Leone earlier this year in order to assess potential for bee farming in the area. Five villages were visited: Korigboma, Mano, Makka, Semabu, and Taninahun meeting with the chief and meet villagers who wanted to farm bees and discuss the project with them. From the start it was clear that there was a lot of interest in all the villages. These visits also involved walking to places where there were known to be wild bees. The individuals who came forward were mostly ‘honey-hunters’ who find wild bees and then take their honey; in the process this can mean that colonies are destroyed. Bee Farming aims to maintain hives of bees for longer periods. Whilst these site visits were happening a carpenter and two local apprentices were busy making seven hives for siting close to each of the five villages.
Brian Durk will support Neil as he learns more about beekeeping in Africa and will help Neil to deliver training in this remote and challenging part of Africa.
Martin Kunz has recently visited India. Here is a fascinating article about beekeeping there, the different species of bee and how the honey crop is improving livelihoods. The article is written by his wife Marianne Landzettel, with photos taken by Martin.
<b>Reprint courtesy of Oregon Tilth’s </b><b><i>In Good Tilth</i></b><b> magazine, Spring Issue 2017</b>
Liz Bates has written a wonderful article in the magazine BeeCraft, explaining how the migration of honeybees in Kenya is part of the natural rhythm of beekeeping in a region with two rainy seasons. She also demonstrates how, with help from Bees Abroad, these communities are sourcing hive equipment locally, and making valuable products.
We’re delighted that BeeCraft have let us reproduce Liz’s article on our website.
John and Mary Home are visiting Kenya. A visit to Kerio Valley to give training in making soap from beeswax and honey. Then off to Laikaipia meeting with David Njugna and the Deputy Minister for small livestock, including bees. John Home is pleased to present a Refractometer kindly donated by www.mannlake.co.uk to Bee Products Enterprise Development. We are grateful to them for their support.