“When I was growing up, my father had bee hives. Eating honey from my late father’s traditional beehives and the fact that hive products (honey, wax, propolis) can earn money to improve my lively hood. When I was left as the solitary breadwinner I had to look for ways to provide for my children, and since I already had experience with beekeeping in my childhood, I easily took it up.”
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
My name is Janet I am single parent and mother of 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls). All my children are still school going.
How has beekeeping changed your life?
The money from beekeeping helped start a small grocery shop and with that I am able to provide for my children. Also I get the opportunity to work with Bee Natural Uganda as a casual staff to help when workload is high. This too has helped to be able to take care of my children. All these things came as result of me venturing into beekeeping.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
I maintain my hives, ensure they are clean properly baited and well located. We do not cut down trees as they are a habitat for the bees that we keep. And I provide water for the bees during dry season when the stream dries up to prevent the bees from moving long distances for water which may be harmful to the rest of the society as bees tend to be hostile during hot seasons.
What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?
Trees are a source of life for bees as they provide nectar /for humans as crop pollinators. Trees provide shade for human beings and other living things whenthe sun is very hot especially in the tropics. Also, Trees are a habitat for wild animals and they attract rainfall and the wanton destruction of forest cover has led to very unpredicatable weather patterns affecting food production in this area hence I always plant and avoid cutting of trees in my farm.
We protect trees by no cutting of trees or do selective cutting and by growing seedlings of the correct species of trees as some trees destroy the environment in the long run.
What is the most important thing in your life?
My children and their wellbeing come first in all my decisions.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Looking after my children as a divorced single parent is my biggest challenge. I lack of land for beekeeping and its expansion. My apiary site was offered by the old woman pictured with me and I will forever be grateful because it is because of her kind gesture that I am able to take care of my children.
I plan saving money earned through sales of bee products to purchase more hives and that will improve my income. Another use of the saved money is buying land for apiary and its expansion and also building a home for my children.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy reading bible and singing. Reading the bible gives me hope for a better tomorrow and singing soothes the heart.
Which place would you like to see once?
I am a Ugandan bust since I was born I have never been to Kampala city, I only hear from people. I would really wish to be able to travel and see Kampala even once in my life.