Situated in south western Ethiopia, Arba Minch is a lush region with many nectar producing plants, the most notable being Eucalyptus.
Hippo foot impression in the Apiary.
There are approximately 150 farmed bee hives in shara kebele according to local NGO HOPE International Development Agency. Thirty farmers from the area have requested to participate in enhanced beekeeping training offered by Bee World Project. Half of the villagers want modern equipment and half want transitional (top bar) hives. In this instance, the top bar hives will be manufactured using concrete, rather than wood. Concrete has distinct advantages over wood concrete hives are cheaper and easier to construct, require no maintenance, and are very difficult to steal.
While in the area, Bee World Project staff had the opportunity to visit a unique apiary deep in Nechisar National park, where a 24-hour guard protects the bees against wild boars, hippopotami, baboons, honey badgers, and the odd human intruder. The main problem that beekeepers face in the region is with the pest called the large hive beetle.
The beetle enters the beehive through the main entrance and feeds on brood, honey and pollen. The pest leaves a slimy substance on the comb and bees will not go near it. Often, the bees abscond.
Since the large hive beetle is bigger than any of the honeybee castes, beekeepers have some degree of success preventing an infestation by blocking the entrance to the beehive with a 9mm screen. The bees can pass through but the beetles cannot.
Bee World Project is funding Phase One beekeeping in this region and is working together with HOPE International Development Agency’s staff and the local community to implement the program. The shared objectives are to assist the villagers with:
- improving livelihood opportunities through enhanced
- providing access to fresh, clean water through the
development of a water well.
Would you like to find out more about how you can support initiatives like this in other regions of Africa and the world? See our list of Bee World Project Partners and be sure to check out their websites to see the great grassroots work that is happening globally!