World Bee Day 2024 Bees Abroad Celebrations

World Bee Day 2024 Bees Abroad Celebrations

May 20, 2024

The UN officially designated May 20th as World Bee Day in 2017 to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.

From Nigeria to Tanzania Bees Abroad communities are celebrating this year’s World Bee Day in style.

Mama Hive at World Bee Day Celebrations in the capital city

Tanzania are celebrating WBD in style this year! A three day event is being held in the capital, Dodoma. Saturday, May 18th marked the opening of the Tanzanian World Bee Day celebrations and Mama Hive was delighted to be invited to participate in the exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. The exhibition was well-attended by many involved in beekeeping, bee product sales and activities and environment and conservation work. 

Rachel represented Mama Hive with Justina, beekeeping project manager with the project partner Emmanuel International. The exhibit showcased Hive Mama and Bees Abroad’s work in training in sustainable beekeeping with rural community groups and income-generating through quality, value-added beeswax products. The District Commissioner, Rosemary Senyamule (see photo) visited the stall along with other dignitaries.

Today, on World Bee Day, the celebrations were opened with an address from Vice President of Tanzania.

Youth in Beekeeping

This year the UN is focusing on the  pivotal role that youth can play in supporting bees and pollinators with their theme “Bee engaged with Youth“. 

The Bees Abroad Nigeria team are promoting this theme through their celebrations. We are helping support the Youth For Apiculture Initiative (YFAI) in their World Bee Day celebrations in the capital, Abuja. 

As well as talks and activities the event is being attended by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment who visited YFAI earlier this month. 

YFAI actively promotes and advocates for youth and women in beekeeping.

 

More Youth in Beekeeping!

As well as the Youth in Apiculture event in the capital, celebrations are underway in Ogun state.

Today the Bees Abroad supported Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping community are hosting a special World Bee Day event with talks, activities and a tree planting ceremony. 

All the registered Slow Food Beekeeping Communities representatives in Ogun West Area of Ogun State Nigeria, Local Government Officials, Principals of selected Schools the area, Students and the wider Community have been invited to attend this event.

A few words from Elijah, spokesperson for Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping community:

“The celebration of World Bee Day 2024 isn’t merely an acknowledgment of bees’ value—it’s a global declaration of our commitment to the SDGs and a sustainable future. World Bee Day 2024 provides a platform, rallying the world to nurture these pollinators, ensuring that they continue to buzz alongside us, aiding our collective journey towards a better tomorrow.”

Sierra Leone celebrations

We received a message directly from the Sierra Leone team  on WBD:

Happy World Bee Day from Sierra Leone!

🌍 On this World Bee Day, we express our gratitude to Rory’s Well, Bees Abroad, and the Bee Farmers Association for their support in implementing this innovative bee farming method in Sierra Leone. By supporting sustainable bee farming practices, we are not only protecting the environment but also ensuring the future of these vital pollinators.

🐝 The new method of bee farming implemented by the Bee Farmers Association in the southern part of Sierra Leone has proven to be incredibly successful. 

🍯 The construction of the bee house in September 2023 has provided a secure and reliable space for bee colonies to thrive. In just a few short months, 7 hives were colonised and 5 were harvested, yielding an impressive 100Ib of honey. This is a testament to the hard work of the bees and the effectiveness of the new bee farming method.

💛 The importance of bees as non-timber forest products (NTFP) cannot be overstated. Bees play a crucial role in pollinating plants, including many crops that we rely on for food. Without bees, our ecosystem would suffer, and many plant species would be at risk of extinction. Bees also produce honey, beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly, all of which have various medicinal and nutritional benefits for humans.

Food, Beekeeping & Social Justice – Campaign Summary

'Food, Beekeeping & Social Justice' campaign, Green Match Fund 2024

April 20, 2024
Food, Beekeeping and Social Justice logo on a yellow background. Subtitle: Empowering lives through sustainable beekeeping

'Food, Beekeeping & Social Justice' - Bringing it together

This year’s Green Match Fund campaign theme was ‘Food, Beekeeping & Social Justice’. Food production is at the intersection of the local and global environment and the day-to-day livelihoods of the communities we work with, facing the effects of climate change. Sustainable farming and beekeeping can help support the local environment while enabling communities to achieve a better quality of life. A win-win is possible for people and planet.

With so much going on, we wanted to bring it all together here, provide links to things you might have missed and hopefully get you excited about what we’re up to next.

Thank you! £10,000 for beekeeping communities

An enormous thank you to the 63 people who helped us reach our fundraising target and to all those who provided support and followed along with the campaign.

We raised an incredible £5,000 in donations, which was then doubled to a whopping £10,000 by the Big Give. This means we can now help more communities achieve more reliable and sustainable livelihoods, with beekeeping and this will change lives for the better.

We couldn’t do any of this without your kindness and generosity, so from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

'Food, Beekeeping & Social Justice' Stories

Every week of the campaign we shared a new story on the theme of Beekeeping, Food & Social Justice. The articles cover stories from around Bees Abroad on how communities are empowering themselves though sustainable beekeeping and food production. The successes of these beekeeping projects are only possible through the generosity of our donors and supporters. The communities are the change makers, supporters like you are the enablers.

Excel Farmers Beekeeping Journey

An hour and a half’s drive away from Ibadan, Nigeria’s third largest city, lives a village community home to the Excel beekeeping group. This blog is written by them.

Read More >>

Social Justice and Beekeeping in Ghana

Earlier this April, Bees Abroad Partnership Manager, Trisha Marlow, visited Ghana. She reports back on what the communities told her about food insecurity, social justice and beekeeping.

Read More >>

Slow Food, Slow Beekeeping?

In 2019 Bees Abroad formalised a working relationship with Slow Foods International around collaborative working in Nigeria. Find out more about our relationship with the organisation Slow Food in Nigeria...

Read More >>

Informative and Inspiring Online Events

We ran three special online events to celebrate the theme of ‘Food, Beekeeping & Social Justice’. Two of the events are available on our YouTube channel.

Event 1: Sustainable Beekeeping, Food and Social Justice

Special guests Sarah Wyndham Lewis and Shane Holland shared their experiences with sustainable beekeeping, food production and social justice.

Sarah and Shane’s event picked off the campaign with an introduction to the main themes of sustainable beekeeping, sustainable food production and social justice including stories from communities they’ve worked with. Sarah shared an inspiring story on beekeeping in Copenhagen and Shane spoke about Slow Food in the UK and some of the projects they run, including working with some of the most underserved communities in the U.K. 

Event 2: Slow Food, Slow Beekeeping?

This event offered a unique opportunity working on Slow Food and beekeeping in Nigeria. This event included six speakers from across Bees Abroad communities in Nigeria.

Dr Modupe shared her story on founding the Emerald Forest Farm: restoring nature through organic farming and sustainable beekeeping. Elijah Asade, spokesperson for Abotokio Slow Food Beekeeping Community, shared how they are advocating for sustainable beekeeping including integrating it in to local school curricula.

Watch the event on YouTube to hear their full stories and hear from the other four speakers.

Supporter spotlight

We asked some of our supporters who donated to the Green Match Fund to share a few words with us..

Anthony

“I was glad to help your beekeeping cause with a donation. Your organization is doing great work especially by advancing beekeeping training to others. It is a noble cause. To reflect the giving mood I was in when made my donation I feel the attached picture sums it up. Thank you again for having offered your programs on your organization – I always enjoyed tuning in.”

Nadia

“It’s great news that BA have reached their target.

Why do I support BA: I like to invest my effort in every activity which I deem sustainable, and Bees Abroad is one of them: sustainable environmentally and financially.

Moreover, the team of volunteers is very good company!”

Catherine

“I found out about Bees Abroad though the BBKA magazine. Bees Abroad were advertising a zoom lecture on two bee related subjects. 

Since then I have received emails with the amazing work that the charity does for community’s and inspirational individuals though beekeeping. 

Beekeeping has given me a lot in various ways and I can only hope that by supporting Bees Abroad this will give others the help and support they need to become successful beekeepers and importantly leading to a sustainable livelihood.”

Friends in Mead for Bees Abroad

Friends in Mead for Bees Abroad

February 11, 2024
Bees Abroad are excited to tell you about ‘Friends in Mead,’ a brilliantly creative idea and a delicious mead. It is a mead with a story which is now part of the Bees Abroad story, with 100% of profits going to support their sustainable beekeeping projects across Africa.

‘Friends in Mead,’ a brilliantly creative idea

The story begins at the Great Taste Honey Awards, organized by the Guild of Fine Food. Hundreds of honeys from all around the world are entered into this prestigious competition and hundreds of judges choose the winning pots of liquid gold. But when the judging is over and winners are awarded their coveted Great Taste stars, what do you do with all the leftover, opened jars of honey? As we all try so hard to recycle, re-use, renew and re-purpose, where can all this perfectly good, top-quality honey go? Surely a meaningful way could be found to use up the hundreds of opened jars of honey. And this is where the great minds of the Guild of Fine Food and Hive Mind Mead came together had the brilliant idea of creating a one-of-a-kind specialty mead with all the winning honeys, wasting nothing and its sales supporting the training and mentoring of new beekeepers establishing apiaries and social enterprises in disadvantaged communities.

Mead made from 250 honeys!

Kit and Matt Newall, founders of Hive Mind Mead in the Wye Valley, collected 250 jars of honey from the Great Taste Awards, from all over the world. In September 2023, they lined up an incredible palette of dark to light honeys, with a rich breadth of flavours. Over a four-month period the honeys were blended and carefully added to achieve just the right balance of taste. Greek honey with hints of thyme, dark honey from Zambia, and heather honey from the UK… Usually a mead would use around three local honeys for a mead, so this blend of honeys from all over the world is a remarkable creation! As Kit says, “this unique creation not only captures the diverse and distinctive notes of the honeys it contains, but also stands as a testament to the tireless efforts of beekeepers globally.”

Bottles of Friends in Mead on display
Patrick McGuigan, author, cheese expert and judge talking with competition entrant

A journey into flavour

The result is a limited edition of a most delicious, unique mead. The mead, aptly named “Friends in Mead” was launched on 13 December, 2023 at “A Journey into Flavour.” This tasting event at the Guild of Fine Food, London also celebrated the winners from the World Cheese Awards in Trondheim, Norway in October. Over 4500 cheeses from 42 countries were judged, and at the mead launch event, as well as trying the new mead, guests were able to taste Nidelven Blå, the World Champion cheese from Gangstad Gårdsysteri, along with other Great Taste winners. Patrick McGuigan, author, cheese expert and judge, led guests through the paired tasting and the producers of the award-winning cheeses shared some of the stories behind their cheeses. Guests included food writers, cheese producers, connoisseurs, and retailers, and I believe it is safe to say that the ‘Friends in Mead’ went down a treat with the cheeses!

100% of the profits from the mead donated to Bees Abroad!

But the story does not stop here! Bottles of ‘Friends in Mead’ are now available for sale through selected independent retailers and directly from Hive Mind’s online store to raise money for Bees Abroad. 100% of profits will support beekeeping groups empowering marginalised communities and improving livelihoods across Africa. And so the story will continue on into the future impacting the lives of young deaf students in Rwanda who will take beekeeping skills back to their communities, disabled farmers in Sierra Leone, women and children with albinism in Tanzania, and many other individuals in rural communities across Africa.

Friends in Mead (12% ABV) is available to purchase from Hive Mind Mead, priced £20 RRP for a 500ml bottle.

“We were delighted to work with Hive Mind to create the world’s first mead made from so many honey varieties. It’s a truly international mead and a celebration of beekeepers and honey producers from across the globe. What’s exceptional is that there will never be anything like this again, the blend is totally unique. We’re thrilled that sales will support the work of Bees Abroad.”

Tortie Farrand, Guild of Fine Food

World Bee Day Luncheon

World Bee Day Luncheon

June 8, 2023

A celebration of The Value of Bees and Honey

For World Bee Day, we celebrated “The Value of Bees and Honey” at a special Luncheon at the Wax Chandlers Hall in London. The event brought together some big names in the bee world and was a chance to share stories, ideas and strengthen connections for our on-going work.  

Guests were warmly welcomed to the event by Bees Abroad Patron, Timothy Maile, the Master of Wax Chandlers. Guest speakers, Anne Rowberry, President of the BBKA and Professor Dave Goulson talked about the critical importance of bees and other pollinators for ensuring food security and maintaining a healthy environment. And our own Bisi New (Nigeria Partnership Manager) provided a fascinating example through the story of Mrs Afuape in Nigeria, of how our work supports entrepreneurs who face limited resources but who are driven and capable of achieving great things when supported.  

Spread the honey, spread the message!

The event featured a delightful menu themed around honey, mead and pollen with bee-pollinated plants, and we were delighted to showcase honey from Bees Abroad beekeepers in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana.

Each jar of honey had a QR code that connected to information on our projects, creating excitement and allowing people to learn more about what Bees Abroad, local communities, and our in-country partners can accomplish with the help of our supporters. 

Thank you to all who continue to support Bees Abroad through your engagement, advocacy and donations.

Thank you for Being Part of the Story!

Thank you for Being Part of the Story!

December 8, 2022

We Did It!

We are thrilled to announce that we more than exceeded our target for the Big Give Christmas Challenge! Thanks to your wonderful support, our match funder and generous pledgers and the extra with GiftAid, we raised  over £46,000!

We are absolutely delighted and so grateful to everyone who has supported this campaign! And we know that you will all be as excited as we are to see this money go towards supporting more beekeepers and the training of more beeswax artisans. Please continue to be part of the story and follow along to see new social enterprises in honey and beeswax develop and new beekeeping groups start in 2023. 

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to make this possible!

Books and Bees Evening

It was a real treat to have authors, Laurie King and Siya Turabi with us for the Books and Bees Evening last Friday. With Jane Ridler hosting, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening, hearing the stories from our authors and appreciating the connection we had with bees and fiction books! The books, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and The Last Beekeeper are easily available for purchase online through the links below. And if you missed the event, you can catch up on You Tube through the link below.

 

Congratulations to our Prize Draw Winners! Jitesh and Neil won our super hotel prizes!
And well done to Jonathan, Linda, Paul, Jess, John, Simon and Kate who won some great prizes from our generous prize donors!

Thank you to everyone who bought tickets; all the proceeds went towards to the campaign, further raising our total!

Bee Fayre Celebration Wootton St Lawrence

Bees Abroad was delighted to be invited to participate in the Bee Fayre Celebration held on 6th August.

The event was a family day organised by the Basingstoke and District Beekeepers Association with numerous stands on the themes of bees and wildlife, crafts, eco-gardening and local history as well as family activities and of course, refreshments.

Over 500 visitors came to event held at Wootton St Lawrence church and adjacent meadow, which is a significant location as Charles Butler, the ‘father’ of English beekeeping was vicar of the church when he published his ground-breaking book, “The Feminine Monarchie” in 1623. Our stand could well have stood on the exact spot where Charles Butler kept some of his numerous hives 400 years ago!

On a gloriously sunny day, visitors to the Fayre were able to come to the Bees Abroad stand hosted by Rachel Monger and Geoff Redwood to learn more about how beekeeping can help alleviate poverty in low-income countries.

Visitors were able to purchase a range of products produced by the Upendo wa Mama women’s group in Tanzania as well as a selection of cards and other gifts items. We were also able to demonstrate the simplicity of the hive equipment we promote using a model top bar hive.

Apart from the Bees Abroad stand, we were invited to give one of the four Bee Fayre ‘Bee Story’ presentations inside the church so had a further opportunity to promote the work of Bees Abroad to a large audience of interested visitors and local dignitaries. Geoff’s talk gave a brief overview of the charity, the benefits of beekeeping and how it can make a real difference to livelihoods.

Through lots of photographs the presentation also showed how Bees Abroad works with local partners to deliver hands-on practical training and support over the life of a project so that a sustainable beekeeping enterprise can be established. The talk was followed by some interesting questions on our work and clearly sparked a great deal of interest in listeners as they came to the stall afterwards to find out more!

The Fayre was a great platform to promote Bees Abroad and we were pleased to also be nominated as one of the three beneficiaries to receive a share of the proceeds from the event admission charges and raffle. Here we benefitted from the generous donation by Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall of a beautiful, gold-plated bee broach.

Next year will be the 400th anniversary of Charles’ Butler’s book and we’ve already been invited to participate in the anniversary Bee Fayre.

 

 

 

Last Chance to Register for a Bees Abroad Charity Place!

You can run for Bees Abroad

We already have some Bees Abroad runners and we would love to make this a bigger team effort! Maybe you would like to run… or maybe you know someone you could encourage (and sponsor) to run. We have one remaining place in the Virtual Marathon and a few spaces left in the London Big Half. So get in fast and secure a place (and a T-shirt and medal) at email info@beesabroad.org.uk

Deadline to Register is August 2nd

LONDON BIG HALF on Sunday, 4 September

Returning on Sunday 4 September 2022, The Big Half is set to have an unmissable festival atmosphere – and you can run for for Bees Abroad!  Register your place today and get set for 13.1 miles!

Route: a stunning course that sets off by Tower Bridge in central London and finishes at the famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich

find out more about the London Big Half

VIRTUAL MARATHON on Sunday, 2 October

The 2022 TCS Virtual Marathon on Sunday 2 October is set to be a fantastic spectacle, with 50,000 people taking part on the central London course and up to 40,000 more taking part all around the globe in the virtual event.

Participants in the virtual TCS London Marathon will again have 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to complete the 26.2 miles on the course of their choice, and all finishers will receive the coveted official medal and T-shirt.

find out more about the TCS London Marathon

Get Creative! Get Involved!

You will have 24 hours to participate and run in whatever way works best for you.

Enter as an individual or a family or company relay. Invite a runner you know.

Get your running community or local gym involved and set up your own course or use the treadmills

Choose a special beekeeping project you would like to fundraise for, find sponsors to support you in your running challenge

Have fun!

Celebrate World Bee Day: Sponsor a Beekeeping Project in Ghana

We have two projects in Ghana that we are highlighting for World Bee Day sponsorship. One is the Amomaso-Adom Beekeepers.

Amomaso community lies a short journey from Berekum town in the Bono region of Ghana. This is home for Gladys, who lives here in one-roomed house with her three children – a daughter of 22 with a toddler, a 14 year old and a 6 year old.

The house has around an acre of land which Gladys farms. She leaves at 6am and returns at 5pm, farming okra, chilli, garden eggs (a small aubergine) and carrots which she sells at market. Her three children receive no support from their fathers and nor does her grandchild. Her eldest daughter completed Senior High School with family help, yet has no income and is needed to help her mother on the land and in the home. The younger two children are in school supported by their mother who works extremely hard to keep them in school, as she understands how important that is.

It is a precarious existence for this single mother.

All 50 members of Amomaso-Adom Beekeeping Association are farmers like Gladys. Some also farm cocoa with in addition to the small subsistence plots for growing staples. Cocoa farming is seasonal, and women earn extra income from roadside trade in surplus vegetables and tubers.

Nearly half the group has experience of honey hunting, a destructive practice giving poor honey and attracting a low price locally. With sponsorship we can change this, leading to bee colonies with hives to call home, a fair market price for quality honey, and improvement to the environment through encouraging the planting of forage tree saplings. The risk of bush fires and tree destruction resulting from taking wild honey can become a thing of the past.

When Bees Abroad first visited this community at the request of the previous Cocoa Board extension officer there was no knowledge of hive beekeeping in the area. After discussions with the membership, a foundation project was funded for 25 participants – 14 women and 11 men – including 12 youth members. The participants were fairly selected using our Ghanaian project baseline tool and one representative per family guideline and received basic beekeeping training and equipment in September 2020.

Covid restrictions brought many challenges with little passing trade yielding very little income for essentials and bills between cocoa harvests. But Partnership Manager Trisha visited the group in January 2022 with Ghana Regional Trainer Network trainer Thomas, much delayed due to Covid and was happy with progress within the group. We are now seeking to enter the livelihood phase of the project as soon as possible to be able to support the group with apiaries from hive kits the members will assemble and a library of protective equipment. Additionally, the provision of small scale processing equipment and an added value course for some of the women who are very motivated at the idea of market sales will give a robust base for a sustainable business.

Gladys has dreams of her own cocoa trees and income from quality honey and this World Bee Day we want share her dream with you. By sponsoring this project, you can help to make her dream come true!

Sponsor a Beekeeping Project in Kenya

Meet the wonderful Baraka Beekeepers Group, another Bees Abroad project that you have the opportunity to sponsor this World Bee Day! Earlier this month, this exciting new project was launched with an inaugural two-day workshop at Mzee Lelei Farm near Eldoret in Uasin Gishu county in Kenya.

On April 5-6, 29 of the 34 members of the group gathered with two trainers from our Kenya partner NGO, Cera who delivered the initial training.

After an introduction to beekeeping, they covered the basics of the craft itself as well as the benefits beekeeping can bring such as value-added hive products, increased crop yields and protection and care of the  environment.

The training also covered the subject of hive types and the importance of choosing a type that is both appropriate and affordable.

The group already has an apiary with four Kenyan top bar hives on some land belonging to one of the members. Two of these hives were gifted and the other two were self-funded by the group. Although these hives have been in-situ for some time they are yet to be colonised so the reasons for this were investigated and actions implemented.

They discussed group governance, group dynamics and group development and learned about baseline data collection to help to benchmark and monitor project progress and results.

The participants were very positive and enthusiastic and are looking forward to the second round of training workshops, which will be held during the third week of May.

Please consider supporting this project which will benefit over 150 participants and many more dependents, for World Bee Day. Your sponsorship will make a difference!

Celebrate World Bee Day

May 20th was declared ‘World Bee Day’ by the UN General Assembly to raise awareness on the essential role of bees. As we celebrate how bees benefit both people and the environment, Bees Abroad are inviting all to recognise and support the incredible role of beekeeping, which is successfully alleviating poverty through beekeeping projects across the world. There are many ways you can join us in celebrating!

WORLD BEE DAY QUIZ NIGHT AND ONLINE LECTURE SERIES
You can join the World Bee Day Quiz Night on Friday, May 20th with John Foley. And you can sign up for some interesting evenings in the online Lecture Series (Tuesday 17th, Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th.)

WAX CHANDLER’S LUNCHEON
A highlight will be the World Bee Day Luncheon for invited guests at the Wax Chandler’s Hall in London. Our Guest of Honour is the Bishop of London, the Rt. Revd and Rt. Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, who is also a beekeeper. As guests enjoy a bee-inspired luncheon, there will be short talks from experts, including Prof. Phil Stevenson from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and Richard Glassborow, Chair of the London Beekeeper’s Association.

PROJECT SPONSORSHIP
The aim of our World Bee Day Celebrations is to raise funds to support Bees Abroad beekeeping projects, which will alleviate poverty and improve environments around the world. We invite you to support a project of your choice in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Kenya and/or Ghana.

It is exciting to see beekeeping associations, schools, large companies and small businesses joining with us to celebrate World Bee Day! We have some wonderful raffles prizes for you to look out for from contributing companies with beehives on roofs (The Ritz, Hilton London Bankside, Fortnum and Mason) and the Lord Mayor is offering a sponsor prize of a Mansion House beekeeping experience. Schools are planning World Bee Day events with local farmers markets as we all seek to fundraise to support projects that will make a difference through beekeeping!

We hope you will be able to offer your personal support and involve your association, community group or company in celebrating World Bee Day locally for a global impact.