Uyogo is the main village in a small cluster of communities in the Tabora Region of western Tanzania. The area is within the extensive Miombo Forest and tree honey produced by Uyogo beekeepers and others is popular throughout Tanzania. Uyogo has established links with Kenilworth in the UK. The Kenilworth-Uyogo Friendship Link (KUFL) has funded the school, a medical centre and a fresh water supply. Yet, life in the village is still very hard.
In 2017 Bees Abroad, with KUFL as a funding partner, started a project with local beekeepers. Through working as a co-operative, the community can make better use of the forest honey. To help this project be sustainable, Bees Abroad will be supporting the local lead trainer. He will be funded to complete a Diploma Course at Tabora Beekeeping Institute.
Bees Abroad initially provided training to help Uyogo beekeepers begin the move from traditional log hives to more accessible and productive top bar hives. Over eight days, the fourteen beekeepers learnt to build, site, colonise and manage modern hives. A training apiary has been founded to serve as the focus for future training and support. Here, the fourteen will provide training and support for the 120 other members of the community who want to become beekeepers. Bees Abroad will help them provide training and locally sourced materials so they can raise their family income above subsistence levels.
Into the future
During late 2017, training in the processing and marketing of honey begins. In nearby Urambo, the District Council built a marketplace to help local producers get their products to buyers from other parts of Tanzania. The Uyogo beekeepers expect to use this facility.
During initial training it became clear that more bee suits are needed and help with sourcing suitable materials is likely. A building to house the equipment necessary to produce quality honey in the desired quantities will also be required.