“It is now four years since we started. Initially we got some training through the sub-county. There were different projects but we selected bee keeping. This is because we had this land and it is a bit far from the homes and suitable for bee keeping. We also wanted some project with little stress. We knew it would take a while to give returns. Now we are beginning to realize the benefits.

The Life as Beekeeper

Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?

My name is Debo Emmanuel. I am married with one child. However, we are about 7 people at home, including other dependents.  

How has bee keeping changed your life?

We were still establishing the project. Many people wanted something with immediate returns. But we said no, let us take bee keeping. Even if it takes long, it will be good. Now the returns are beginning to come. The money for the honey is good. It has now motivated us to increase production next year.

As you can see, we are still using local hives. So, our next plan is to get modern hives because there is enough land. 

From the first harvest, we are sure our lives will be changed.

How do you provide a good environment for your bees?

As you can see here, we clean the apiary and maybe check if the hives are ok or not. Here there are plenty of tree species, so we don’t struggle to give them food or water. We visit this place frequently to ensure people don’t disturb the area.

What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?

Trees are very important. Especially, if you are doing a project like bee keeping, then you realize trees are very important. So, we are very keen on monitoring this place. And now because of this project, people know we don’t encourage tree cutting in the area. That is how we protect the trees.

What is the most important thing in your life?

What I consider most important in my life is actually education. You realize that if you have education, it can open doors for you. Education enables you to learn new ideas. So, education is important because that is the future. In fact if things were not hard, I would advise that people get educated because that will improve their lives.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?

Life has a lot of challenges. And as you plan to grow, even in this kind of project, you will always face challenges. So, the biggest challenge I see here is lack of manpower. This area is big and we need to work it constantly. The other challenge is lack of capital. As you can see, we need better hives so that we can grow production, but we are still using local hives. So, lack of capital is a big challenge. So, generally, we have the problem of poverty. There is biting poverty in the homes.

To solve the problem of poverty and these other challenges is also another challenge. So, we are thinking of saving money, may be from selling the honey we harvest. But other domestic needs are also pressing. So, it is all a challenge.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I don’t give all my free time for leisure because that means you will be idle. Sometimes you run into problems, especially if you end up with a wrong group. So, I try to do some little work where possible just to keep me busy. But resting is also important. So, if you can get some little time to relax, that is good. But most times I find myself working.

Which place would you like to see once?

Very many places I would love to visit. The problem is lack of resources. Ideally, I would love to go and visit places where you can learn new ideas that you can bring home and implement to improve your practices.

So, if there is an opportunity, I would be happy to travel to any place outside Uganda.

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