“I have now kept bees for around 5 years. I started it a way of supplementing my family income because honey has good market. When I first harvested my honey, I bought a goat. Then after that, I bought a number of chicken. That motivated me, so from that time up to now, I have remained a bee keeper.”
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
My name is Onzima Joseph. I’m married and I have 3 children. So, we are 5 in the family.
How has bee keeping changed your life?
As I said, I used the first harvest to buy domestic animals. So, many of the things I keep at home, some of the money comes from bee keeping. I have a small family for now, so this project supports my family with basic necessities. May be in future I will add more hives and get more money. Actually, now I am going think of increasing the number of my hives because if you can come up to here, then, that is serious.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
I don’t do anything special. I just put the hives there and the bees do the work. The only thing I do is to ensure that people don’t destroy the hives or steal them, especially around harvest time. These trees around here help them with food and there is water from the valley. Mine is to harvest.
What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?
Trees are important. We have these ones that are natural. I have also planted some of them including mangoes. For the mangoes, we eat the fruits, and sometimes we sell to get money. So they help the family. And also they support the bee keeping project. That means trees are very important.
What is the most important thing in your life?
In my life, the most important thing is to have a listening ear and to give. To bring up children in a good manner so they appreciate community values.
Even the way you live your personal life is very important, for example marrying many wives etc. Sometimes you have to bow down in life. Also, it is important to fear God.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
There are challenges and one of them is lack of capital. I would love to transit to using modern hives, but that is still a challenge. Of course there are other domestic challenges in life.
Over coming challenges is also hard, especially if you have no money. So, we have to find ways of raising money to solve these challenges.
What do you like to do in your free time?
During my free time I just rest. May be on some days you go to the market. Sometimes I make my hives, depending on situation at hand.
Which place would you like to see once?
I don’t think of going anywhere else. I just want to stay here. I want to look after my family and take care of these things I have acquired.