Bees are amazing - they pollinate crops, produce honey and beeswax and also create an economic reason for conserving trees. Plus, they don't need feeding and watering on a daily basis. But keeping bees is not always easy. In Ethiopia we are working hard to help youngsters get started from scratch. That means making a beehive, acquiring bees, taking care of them and then harvesting and selling honey. For a non-beekeeper each of these tasks involves something new - and can be daunting - especially considering that each beehive comprises several thousand stinging insects! This is why we are linking beginners to mentors - more experienced beekeepers who are right there in the community. They are on hand to give advice and help as needed.
Abata is a new beekeeper and her mentor Mr. Abebo recently helped her catch a swarm - so she now has two colonies. She has no land or assets of her own as her recent marriage failed and she is on her own. She is looking forward to her first honey harvest - she will use the money she earns to buy seeds and start a vegetable garden. The bees will pollinate her vegetables too.
We thank all our donors and supporters for helping people like Abata become self-reliant, giving her a future.
Our team in Ethiopia have been reaching more people. We have trained 55 young men and women in how to make beehives. They then make hives on their own - once the training is complete - and take the first step in establishing their own small-scale beekeeping businesses, selling honey and beeswax.
Kindu is excited. He says, "I am looking forward to my first honey harvest. I know the price of honey in the market and am planning to use my income to extend my farm next year. This will help me in the future".
Our project received a significant boost in August. The Tucson Quilters Guild of Arizona and Champlain Valley Quilters Guild of Vermont created an exquisite Sunflower Quilt - which was auctioned to raise money for our work in Ethiopia. Thank you to all quilters and the generous donor who bought the quilt.
We'd like to say a really big 'Thank You' to all our supporters and donors. We reached over 75% of our target which is a great achievement for our first activity with Global Giving.
We have started work and new beekeepers have attended their first training days in two districts in the north of Ethiopia. Training is delivered by our own staff at Bees for Development Ethiopia, but importantly we work along side Development Agents. These are government employees who work at village level to support agricultural development. We are building their skills and knowledge in beekeeping, so they can work with us to provide follow-up to our new beekeepers. Beekeeping training is never a one-off!
Two young men, Mersha and Getahm, who participated in our training last year pooled the income they earned from selling their honey and bought a fishing boat. Through beekeeping they are building a livelihood for themselves and their young families in their community - unlike many others who feel their only future is through seeking low-paid jobs in town.
Beekeeping makes a real difference and supports the environment too. Thank you.