World Bee Day Thanks!

Thank you to all who supported and joined in our World Bee Day celebrations last month!

As well as our online Lecture Series and World Bee Day Quiz, there were many things happening all over the world!

Here is a photo overview of some of the wonderful ways people raised local awareness and support for Bees Abroad beekeeping projects!

We are delighted to announce that so far (with donations still incoming) we have raised over £27,000 to support our project partners! Thank you!

And it’s not too late if you have yet to give your gift in honour of World Bee Day!

Luncheon at the Wax Chandlers Hall, London

Our World Bee Day event at the Wax Chandlers Hall was a wonderful occasion, with our Guest of Honour, the Rt Rev and Rt Honourable Lord Bishop of London and other distinguished guest speakers. All enjoyed a delicious honey and bee-inspired menu, beautifully prepared and presented by our amazing caterers from Portfolio EC2. We were delighted to celebrate with all who attended, and are grateful for the support in donations through this charity lunch event.

Here’s what some of the attendees had to say:
“…thank you so much for inviting me, it was a real pleasure – and the menu was a wonder!”
“…thank you for the invitation, it was a great day and so many interesting people to talk to.”
“…thank you for such a delightful and excellent lunch.”
“…many thanks for organising such a lovely day yesterday. The speakers were inspirational and the food superb.”
“…I feel extremely fortunate to have attended and thoroughly enjoyed every minute!”
“…The food was excellent, the talks were informative and I met some very interesting people.”

Celebrations across Africa!

It has been fantastic to hear the stories and see the photos coming in from our partners around the world! Groups in Nigeria were making the news with their World Bee Day celebrations! The Grammar School in Okun, Nigeria held WBD lectures. There were more activities and celebrations across Kenya with our partners there, and also our beekeeping groups in Uganda.

World Bee Day Prize Draw

It has been fantastic to hear the stories and see the photos coming in from our partners around the world! Groups in Nigeria were making the news with their World Bee Day celebrations! The Grammar School in Okun, Nigeria held WBD lectures. There were more activities and celebrations across Kenya with our partners there, and also our beekeeping groups in Uganda.

Thank you for celebrating World Bee Day with us and supporting these incredible beekeeping projects which are making such a difference to communities!

Celebrate World Bee Day: Sponsor a Beekeeping Project in Sierra Leone

Excitement is in the air for these farmers in Sierra Leone this World Bee Day! These “farmers on crutches” are enthusiastically looking forward to becoming beekeepers. This single leg amputee farming community are keen to integrate beekeeping into the farming training which they are already involved in. Watch the video to see the amazing work they are doing here!

To celebrate World Bee Day this year, we are inviting you to sponsor beekeeping projects across Africa, and here you have the opportunity to support these farmers who have suffered leg amputations during the Sierra Leone civil war. Bees Abroad is working with Sierra Leone Amputee Sports Association and Sierra Leone Permaculture & Agro-ecological Farm to provide beekeeping training in conjunction with sustainable farming.

By sponsoring this project for World Bee Day, you can help to get these farmers started! They are placing their first ten hives at their farm and will begin with a two week internship for three potential trainers during honey harvest. They are working through the issues they need to address in order to teach safe methods of beekeeping for people with one leg.

Then the plan will be to start training the first 15 to 20 trainees at the Farmers on Crutches Farm! And this is where you can make the difference!

Please consider supporting this life-changing project!

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: Sponsor a Beekeeping Project in Tanzania

Bees Abroad is excited to share with you about the Kome Island Women Beekeepers. We are offering you the opportunity to sponsor this amazing project which will give beekeeping training to many women from at least five rural island villages over the next few years. This March, Bees Abroad Partnership Manager, Rachel Monger went to visit the first Kome Island women’s group ….

I received the warmest of welcomes from the Jikomboe Women Beekeepers group when I arrived in the small village of Nyamkolechiwa on Kome Island on Lake Victoria in Tanzania. Over twenty women came together, and it was wonderful to see that some of the mamas were in the group with their grown daughters, who were carrying their grandchildren on their backs!

Kome Island women at their hives
Kome Island women at their hives

All the women are farmers, working incredibly hard to produce enough food from the land to feed their families. The group formed a few years ago with the support of Emmanuel International, setting up a village savings and loans scheme. Recently, the women asked if they could learn how to become beekeepers in order to profit from honey and wax sales … and so now Emmanuel International and Bees Abroad are partnering to train and equip them.

They are a resilient group of mamas … and just so much fun. There was so much laughter throughout the day that I spent with them. Plans were upset by a long hard rain in the morning, but as soon as they could, they worked together to produce an amazing lunch for all of us, laughing all the while! They laughed and sang as they came together for an official group meeting; there were peals of laughter as they presented me with (and wrapped me up in) khangas (traditional cloth wraps) in welcome.

They laughed particularly hard when we got to the hives. For women who wear flip flops and khangas, thick suits with zips, head veils, gumboots and gloves are all very foreign and difficult to figure out! Women were rolling on the ground in laughter as they tried to put on the strange items! And then when they all stood up and looked at each other in this new apparel … it was completely hilarious for everyone!

But for these mamas, life has not been easy or full of laughter. One mama, Nyabwire, shared her story of how as a child, she had to drop out of school due to constant illness. She entered a forced marriage at a very early age, but after the birth of her daughter, her husband died. Later she married again, but he also died before she bore another child. Her late husband’s parents took everything from her, leaving her and her daughter grieving and destitute. With her daughter, Nyabwire moved to live with her brother, but lost everything again when his house burned to the ground. But one of the women said she had never seen Nyabwire laugh like she did on this day we shared. At the end of the day, Nyabwire said that she had never been so happy as she was that day. The benefits of being part of a group like this are more than we realise.

Another woman in the group is a grandmother, and she is struggling to care for eighteen grandchildren in her care … life is not easy, and she has been tired and burdened. But she stood to speak at the meeting and her joy was in her smile! In coming together and learning together, they are finding so much joy.

There was more joy at the hives that evening as for the very first time, the women saw honey on the comb in their hives! As we celebrate World Bee Day this year, we are celebrating these women. We are looking forward with them to future harvests of honey which will help them to pay for medical and school expenses, helping the health and education of their children. We are looking forward to celebrating greater yields of crops in their pollinated fields. We are looking forward to more joy!

Celebrate with us this World Bee Day and consider sponsoring these and other women on Kome Island through this project

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!

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.)

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.

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.