“After my father’s death I dropped out of school, at this time Bee Natural had opened the honey factory in Arua which is 40 km from my home and saw this as a market opportunity for honey. So I started beekeeping in addition to crop production.”
The Life as Beekeeper
Who belongs to your family / who is living with you?
In my family I live with my wife and 8 children. We have 5 boys and 3 girls.
How has beekeeping changed your life?
I have a long history with beekeeping. My first honey sales in the year 2002 to Bee Natural. I earned UGX 50,000= and bought 4 goats with it. As we bred the goats and supplement with beekeeping, I was able to educate my follower to complete high school. From then I have never looked back.
How do you provide a good environment for your bees?
For a long time I have planted many trees and I maintain a good apiary site site for the health of our bees. I always ensure water is available for bees and within reach.
What do trees mean to you and how can they be protected?
Trees are the source of the clean air we breathe. With so much pollution around, I am happy our village still has plenty of trees and we breathe fresh air. As we plant trees, trees also provide us with timber for construction of our homes and furniture we use.
We put some of our hives on the trees, that way nobody would dare to cut them down as they fear bee stings.
We prun the trees for healthy grow and create fire barriers especially for the forests bordering homes. Finally, we dig trenches of about 4’ depth x 2’ width round the garden of trees to protect against termites which might come to destroy the hives and also interfere with the bees.
What is the most important thing in your life?
Beekeeping as it is my source of livelihood.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Inadequate training in beekeeping as things keep changing in the apiculture sector. There is need for ongoing training and information. That way we do not lag behind in our farming practices. The lack of exposure and exchange visit to other beekeepers apiaries to learn and acquire skills is another challenge. The disturbance from pests causing abscondment of hives is a challenges as well.
I have used ash spread in pest nests and around hive stands. Ash is good as it has no chemicals hence our honey is absolutely safe. I am cleaning absconded hives for re-siting. I plan visiting local beekeepers to share problems faced and find solutions. We need more of these visits. For several years I have had links with Bee Natural for advisory services and this has been of great help. They provide both advisory services and a market for our beekeeping products.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend a lot of time with my bees. I visit the apiary more often so bees get used to my body smell and presence that way my presence does not bother them.
Which place would you like to see once?
I would like to visit Kampala city and visit the many beautiful sites that I hear about.