“It was a government programme where they gave us some boxes (KTB Hives) for our group. But most people left the group, so I kept those boxes and then we even added those local ones. Somebody used to come and help us to harvest but he would end up going with much of the honey. But after sometime, he disappeared. So there was no body to harvest and we abandoned the whole thing. Most boxes then got damaged. But one day, things were hard and I saw a woman selling honey in the trading centre and I thought about checking the remaining boxes. It was not easy, I was stung by bees but I got some honey. That time I was still staying with my wife, so we were able to afford basic necessities. From that time, I realized thing can help.”
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
My name is Richard. I was married but right now I’m separated with my wife. I have 2 children who live with me and 2 other close relatives. So, we are 5 in the family.
How has beekeeping changed your life?
At least I am able to provide food for my children and other family members. I am also able to manage things like clothing and other personal expenses. My children like eating honey a lot, so they eat some of it. But since I got to know that this gentleman, I am now assured of good money.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
When they gave us the hives, they said we should ensure they are under a shade.
That is why we put them in that place where there is good shade. But again, these other local ones were disturbed by fire as you saw there. Apart from that, I really don’t give them special attention. Since we put them, they are working on their own. Some of them abscond and then come back etc. During this dry period, they disturb us a lot at home, I think looking for water.
What is the most important thing in your life?
I must survive. For me that is important. I know I can’t get a lot of wealth, but I have to survive.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
My biggest challenge now is looking after my children. I need to have food for them, make sure I treat them when they are sick and may be get some capital to do some other small business because things are tough.
It is difficult to overcome these challenges. You need a lot of money which is not there. OK, when I sell honey, I can get some money from him, but there are too many things to do. So, I don’t know.
What do you like to do in your free time?
We just go to the trading centre here and pass time with friends.
Which place would you like to see once?
I have no idea. May be one day I can go to Kampala…