“I first learnt about bee keeping at school as an income generating activity. After I dropped out of school, I tried to raise money from cultivating some crops, but as you can see, this area is rocky and the harvests were not very good. Then I decided to start this enterprise. My first harvest was good and I got money. That motivated me. The next thought was now to increase production so I can get better money.”
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
I’m called Jabo Paul. I am married with one kid. So, in my small family, we are 3. However, the larger family has 8 members. This includes my father and other siblings.
How has beekeeping changed your life?
I have already build a house, three rooms. My small family is not doing badly because I can afford basic necessities. So, bee keeping has changed my life that way. I don’t borrow money from my father anymore.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
This place is a family land. As you can see, the trees in this portion are still indigenous.
So, we try to protect it so that this project is carried on. There is also water source nearby, where the bees get water from. So, apart from cleaning around we really don’t do anything extra. Bees look for their food.
What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?
This land is large. The trees here are natural ones. My father has kept these trees up to now and they are now helping with this project.
Because of this, I value these trees so much. But we have also learnt from different forums that trees help in providing fresh air, they help in bringing rain, they keep the soil fertile and avoid soil erosion etc, etc. So, trees are important.
How do we protect them? ……we just make sure people don’t cut them, especially these ones in our land. You see these days many people survive by selling charcoal. So people go cutting tress to burn as charcoal. This is really a big problem. But for us, we don’t allow that.
And because of this project, we have created some fire line so that bush fire doesn’t cross this side. That is how we protect them.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Me, I value my life so much, I value my life. …, I protect my life. Me I don’t want to be attacked by strangers, because everything you do is for life.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Well, one of my challenges here is the bush burning. Despite the fire line we have created, sometimes it can be windy and very dangerous. Of course sometimes you don’t have enough money to do some other things. To overcome this, you have to work hard. For instance, borrowing is tricky, so I try to work hard to get money from this bee keeping. May be some help could come from elsewhere…. you never know.
What do you like to do in your free time?
During my free time, I walk around and check on this project here. That is how I spend my free time….. Me, I don’t go around gossiping. And by the way I don’t have much time for leisure because I’m still poor.
Which place would you like to see once?
I would wish to go to any place some body wishes to take me to. Even if it is Nairobi or America, or even Europe. I can, as long as I’m still alive.