Between the month of June until end of September it is rainy season in Burkina Faso.
During this period, villagers are busy cultivating the fields. There is only one rainy season in Burkina Faso. The whole ressources (food and cash) of the family come mainly from the work in the fields during this period. In order to compensate for a bad rainy season or to increase the revenus of the families, other activities not related to the rains are needed: collect of fruits (mango, cashew nuts) or beekeeping.
Women are telling us that beekeeping allow them to have honey for their own consumption and to have revenu for the part they sell.
During this part of the year there are not many flowers.To survive bees are eating some of the honey they have produced after the harvest we have made in April.
Next activity will be to look at the hives in October to see how they went through the rainy periode and to clean around them all the grass / trees which have grown during this period.
Women need your support to have more hives to help them support their families.
As you may remember we have both been able to distribute more hives to women in the villages, but we also have also added intensive training.
Training was about the bees, the hives, how to place the hives, how to maintain them and how and when to harvest the honey.
This training and a lot of blossom on trees have brought an excellent harvest for the women. The best results was in the village of Nefrelaye.
There are now 52 women who have received hives. They have harvested an average of 26 kg of honey per women. The biggest harvest was of 65 kg for one woman in the village of Nefrelaye.
In term of revenue this add 38 euro (42us$) in average per woman. To put this into context, this is at least multiplying by 2 the annual revenues of a woman in the villages.
The work is minimum for the women (bees do the work) and there is no conflict for land (very little space needed).
In order to give some structure to this project, we have helped the women to create what is called a "simplified cooperative" for beekeeping in each village. This will help communication, control of the quality of the raw honey, negociation with suplliers or buyers.
The women are really enthousiast and they want more hives.
Can you help us to communicate about this project. It makes a lot of difference for the women in their development and for their self reliance.
Since last report there was not much human activities around the hives. However it is a period when bees are working overtime.
Most of the fruit trees are in full blossom: mango, cashew ,locust bean and shea nuts trees.
It is the time also when some hives swarms. This happens mainly when the hive is overcrowded. This swarm with the old queen will look for a proper place stay. We have several cases when the swarm goes into building. This can create a lot of problem. At our Private Agricultural School we can barely get some equipment from a workshop. Bees are not naturally aggressive, but when on the move you better stay away. We had two girls with multiple bites whom we had to take to the local hospital for treatment.
We are approaching the main harvest time. We expect to have the beekeepers active with the harvesting of the honey has of mid-March.
Next report we will be able to tell you how was the harvest, according to some beekeepers it looks like a good year for honey.
Women will be very pleased with their extra income. I am sure that you know somebody who can help a women to become a beekeeper. Bees communicate with dances, you only have to send a link to your friends.
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