“I started beekeeping way back when I was still a child. We used to do it using local hives. The challenge with that is that you use the hives for one year. So, every other year you have to make new ones. But when we got training in beekeeping and had access to this improved hives, I was motivated to do more. And from these hives, the harvest is better than the traditional type. So, that motivated me more.”
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
My name is Amandu Sabir. I am married. I have one child. So, we are 3 in the family.
How has beekeeping changed your life?
From this project, I got some changes in my life. I have got fairly good money from the proceeds which I have used for personal expenses, but also at home. At least we get basic necessities easily when the sales come. I have also some of the money to pay for the hives that we got on loan. I think that when I am done with the loan, I will see good returns.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
Providing good environment for the bees here as you can see, I make their environment clean by slashing around this area and also cleaning the hives when they abscond or when they have not colonized quickly. As for food, they really look for their food. This area has many trees, so they get food the trees. I don’t give them food. They also go and look for their water.
What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?
Trees have many uses to us. They provide us with shade, we also get fresh air and some of them are fruit trees. Even trees give us firewood. So, trees are actually important to everybody. Sometimes it can be difficult, especially if it is women looking for firewood, you can’t chase them away. But those who want to cut trees here for charcoal burning…that one we don’t encourage. But also where we have put the hives. No one can cut them.
What is the most important thing in your life?
The most important thing in my life is my garden work because that is the main source of food and now bee keeping, because when you get good harvest from the gardens, you can sell some of the crops and raise money. And when you get good harvest from the hives, you raise additional money to support the family. It makes life fair.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
I don’t have serious challenges in my home. But on the side of my bee keeping, the challenge I find here is the insects that disturb us. That means you must always be checking constantly to ensure they are doing well. This particular challenge is not about to end because the place is vast. So if there are ways you can help us with like giving us grease etc, we would be happy.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I use my free time to do some petty business there at the trading center. I sell some few merchandise to try and raise capital.
Which place would you like to see once?
I would like to go to the place where the Mzungu who trained us comes from……yes, Netherlands. I really would love to see those bees that he said don’t sting. These ones of ours are not easy to handle.