“I started bee keeping way back in 2007. It was a NUSAF programme. Each member in the group was given at least 3 KTB hives.  However, most of the members were not really interested in bee keeping. So, the group disintegrated. But a few of us insisted. When I did my first harvest, I got good honey which I sold to BNU. That money motivated me to continue. That is how I ended up with bee keeping. Now I have really known how beneficial this project is.”

The Life as Beekeeper

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

My name is Alfred. My sub-county is Rhino Camp, Gbulukuatuni Parish. I am married with two wives. We are about 7 people in the family.

How has beekeeping changed your life?

There is benefit from bee keeping. I have benefited from the income from selling honey. Since then, it is one of the sources where I get money to support the family. As you can see, our place faces a lot of draught. When rains are not regular, crops fail. When crops fail, it is honey that bails me out. So, bee keeping has changed my life in many ways. Basic necessities, clothing, medical expenses etc. I have also acquired some animals especially goats. Sometimes when things get tough, you sell them. Goats are good in that sense.

How do you provide a good environment for your bees?

I clean the place and ensure the grass in the thicket doesn’t over grow. Our place here can sometimes get very dry, especially during the dry season, so sometimes I give them water and foods like cassava flour. I am a farmer, so I can afford to give them flour, after all, I will get it back in form of honey.

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

Trees mean a lot to me, especially after getting into bee keeping. Actually, I am now regretting because I had big thickets here where I would have kept my hives, but we cleared them for cultivation. Now we are struggling to find a convenient place for hives. In fact, that has compelled me to relocate some of my hives to distant places.

What is the most important thing in your life?

The most important thing in my life is really hard work. The reason I have moved to this place is because I needed fairly big land to do farming. I did not go far in education, so all my life I have done gardening to support my family. So, hard work is what I consider very important.

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

The biggest challenge we have here is lack of land. As the population grows, we are increasingly pressed with demand for land. Secondly, this project of bee keeping is also facing some problems of theft and destruction. For instance, recently I found out that one of my hives appears to have been laced with poison, because almost all the bees in that hive just died. So, this is becoming a big problem here. I really don’t know such problem can be addressed, because these are people who do this at night. As for the land shortage, we have to look outside and see where you can find land either for rent or even buy it if you can, so that you expand what you are doing. But it is a big challenge that we have to deal with.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Well, I am now weak and so I really don’t do much work. So, I now rest most of the time.

Which place would you like to see once?

This question is a good one. Personally, I have not gone far with education and I have not visited many places. So, if there was opportunity for me to go and see a place once in my life, I would love to go to a place where I can get knowledge.

I would love to learn new ways of doing beekeeping particularly so that I can come back and improve my practice. The way I see it, a project like beekeeping can sustain life, especially in this place of ours where it can be very dry.

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