SASH members are moving forward with honey production. They are selling their honey at local markets and are making plans to acquire tools which will make honey production more abundant. SASH members are also working on reforestation activities. They are concerned about the fact that honey production will be adversely affected by the lack of trees in the area. Droughts and continued deforestation have decreased the numbers of flowers available for bees to pollinate, so SASH members are committed to replanting tree saplings throughout the region in partnership with the Lambi Fund.
SASH is also interested in helping other organizations and has invited other organizations to visit their projects and learn from their experience.
SASH member Genoise Milien states that “We feel so blessed to have received so much support for our activities, that we want to share it with others”.
Members of the organization have received training on honey production and stated that they have benefited from these workshops.
"Our honey production has improved so much" states Wilbert Desir, SASH member " the quality has improved and we have collected a lot more than usual"
The training session enabled them to correct mistakes they had made in the past due to lack of information.
Following the training they were able to harvest 10 additional gallons of honey. Sale of the harvested honey has been steady and profitable to the organization.
Emboldened by its success SASH has built 30 more boxes, and swarms of bees have been placed in 15.
"Please send our thanks to those from the US who support us. They have given us the tools and the resources to make our sweet honey" said the members of our organization.
The honey project is well on its way in spite of the recent hurricanes and floods. The bee population survived and though some boxes required repairs, SASH members consider themselves extremely fortunate.
The honey harvest was considered satisfactory and members have been SASH is looking forward to expanding its ability to sell honey to a global market. Members are also looking at the possibility to market honey bi-products such as wax, and bee pollen. They have purchased equipment such as smokers, tools, protective gloves and bee keeper hoods.
SASH members have attended workshops facilitated by the Lambi Fund of Haiti. These workshops focused on strengthening organizational leadership and managing their bee keeping enterprise.
Members reflecting on the fact that prior to their partnership with the Lambi Fund of Haiti, their bee keeping technique consisted of using half of a carved out tree, are now looking towards a completely modernized operation. They have expressed interest in obtaining more bee keepers suits, and acquiring materials such as an extractor which are only available in the United States. The extractor will help them collect more honey.
SASH members have expressed their profound gratitude to supporters and benefactors who believe in their vision and their efforts to become self sustaining honey producers. They hope that some day SASH’s honey will be available in the US.
The next honey harvest will take place in September 2008. This was not an easy task for the organization. In the aftermath of a tropical depression as well as Hurricane Noel which devastated the area in October 2007, many of the boxes sustained significant damage (23 were salvageable). Damaged boxes were fixed but the organization had to purchase 9 additional boxes. Although the bee population disappeared in the aftermath of the hurricane, they have now returned to the area.
Lambi Fund's staff, our regional monitor and SASH members met in February 2008. At that meeting, it was agreed that the project would be accelerated. Due to efforts put forth by all parties involved, critical training sessions were conducted in April 2008, and the material needed to proceed with the project was purchased in May 2008.
What remains to be done:
• Purchase of 30 more boxes
• Additional training for members
The organization expressed satisfaction about its partnership with the Lambi Fund and has worked diligently to ensure the project's successful implementation. Once the honey is harvested, SASH members will be able to sell the honey and improve their financial condition.
SASH members have also demonstrated their determination to succeed in spite of natural disasters, political turmoil and at times the scarcity of materials.
The beekeeping project has been delayed by the unavailability of the expert apiculturist originally retained to provide technical assistance to members of the Beekeeping Association of Southern Haiti (SASH). The consultant retained for the project became unavailable having accepted a full time position with an international NGO. Lambi Fund’s staff is currently interviewing the very few Creole-speaking candidates available and should make a decision about a new consultant by the end of August. Lambi Fund will then conduct the workshops and the organization will acquire the bees and tools needed to successfully implement the project.
What has been accomplished:
Prior to her unavailability, the apiculturist oversaw the construction of 30 frame boxes. A total of 60 boxes will be built for honey production.
A frame box contains about 10 frames. A frame consists of traditionally been four pieces of wood that fit together to hold a sheet of honeycomb within a beehive.
Training: The departure of the apiculturist has delayed the project’s implementation since it cannot proceed without the workshops. Members of the organization have a long history of beekeeping and honey making. They are very eager to get started and have been urging the Lambi Fund to forgo the training requirement. Although Lambi Fund staff acknowledges the fact that they are indeed experienced bee keepers, staff stands by the decision to wait until a consultant is retained to proceed with the workshops.
Frames: as stated earlier 30 frames have been built, 30 more will be added following the workshops.
Bee smoker: A bee smoker will be acquired. It is a tool used by beekeepers to blow smoke into a beehive before inspecting, manipulating or handling the hive. Smoke is directed into the beehive to keep the bees from attacking the beekeeper.
Bees: Bees will be purchased once the workshops are conducted.
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