INTO Giving – funds beekeeping in Odogbolu district, Nigeria

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!

Okun Owa’s Beekeeping trainees

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Around the UK in 2018

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

10-11 August – Shrewsbury Show, Shropshire

31 August – Dunster Show, Minehead, Somerset

25-26 October – National Honey Show, Sandown Park, Esher

Rory’s Well – Bee Farming

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.

http://www.roryswell.org/bee-farming.html

Good to the last drop – Bees in India

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>

<a href=”https://igt.tilth.org/good-to-the-last-drop/”>https://igt.tilth.org/good-to-the-last-drop/</a>

Migrating Honey Bees

Collecting wax from a box hive
Collecting wax from a box hive

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.

Bee Craft Feb 2016 Migrating Bees

Adding Value in Kenya

Mary demonstrating soap production
Mary demonstrating soap production

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.

Successful Beekeeping in Ghana

Ghana_Ashanti_Course
Video about our beekeeping course with Ashanti Development in Ghana

Bees Abroad have recently been partnering with Ashanti Development in the Ashanti region of Ghana to train members of this rural community in the skills and practice of beekeeping.  This is another great example of how Bees Abroad helps to relieve poverty.  Antonella Sinopoli has made a video based around the running of this course, which can be viewed at this link, and features some of the Bees Abroad project officers Brian Durk and Ashanti Development project managers  Dawn Williamson and Paul Bloch, as well as our brilliant training officer, Victor Ayeebo.  You can read more about the work of Ashanti Development at their website.

As an example of the impact projects such as this can have, here is a photo of John Partey, a beekeeper in Bimponso, near Twifo Praso in the Central Region of Ghana.  John recently told us that he has been able to fund sending his son Joseph firstly to Polytechnic and is now going to send him to University. All this from the honey produced from 17 colonies of bees.  John has been helped on his journey to successful and profitable beekeeping with support from Bees Abroad, through our Twifo Praso project.  John is pictured with Brian Durk and Caroline Luxford, one of our newest project managers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Brian Durk, John Partey and Caroline Luxford in Bimponso

Bees v Elephants

John Home says biology can find solutions to the biggest problems – like stopping a six-tonne African elephant in its tracks.

bees and elephants

John wrote an article for the magazine “The Biologist”, and we are delighted that they’ve let us reproduce the article on our website.  Read more about the work of Dr Lucy King in Kenya, helping farmers protect their livelihoods from damage by elephants using beehives.

Follow this link to read the full article (in pdf format) – Bees v Elephants

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