Help 50 Youths Save Bees and Beekeping in Cameroon

by COMMUNITY INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT AND GENDER DE
Help 50 Youths Save Bees and Beekeping in Cameroon
group photo with cooperative members and guest
group photo with cooperative members and guest

 

FORWARD

Honeybees are an integral part of the human food chain as pollinators of crops. As pollinators they also have an essential role in maintaining biodiversity and the mountain environment. Beekeeping has contributed to rural development through the centuries by supporting agricultural production and providing honey, wax, and other products for home use and sale. Beekeeping has a special significance for farmers in Batibo Sub Division , Momo Division of the North west region Of Cameroon. It offers a way for those with few resources – especially poor and landless farmers and women – to obtain income, as it requires only a small start-up investment, can be carried out in a small space close to the home, and generally yields profits within a year of operation. Farmers have kept bees in local hives for centuries for personal use, but beekeeping is now becoming more popular as an income generating activity. To take full advantage of bees, farmers need to take a modern approach to bee management using frame hives and focusing on production of quality colonies and quality honey. For this they need up-to-date training. The three days training workshop covers the full range of basic topics related to beekeeping development, including the importance of beekeeping in modern agriculture and the use of bees for crop pollination; production of honey, wax and other hive products; honey quality standards; and using value chain and market management to increase the benefits to beekeepers. The focus was on participatory hands-on training, with issues explained in simple/local language and many illustrations. We are confident that this training will be a source of support to the Moghamo Bee Farmers Cooperative (MBFC), and will help poor farmers,youths, women and men, to develop a sustainable livelihood from bees and beekeeping, while contributing to the protection of this valuable social insert and maintenance of a healthy environment.

 

SITUATION REPORT

Sustainable bee farming is completely a new concept in Batibo Sub Division , Momo Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. Consequently, no training programme exists and therefore the training of bee farmers and field technicians has been piece meal.

It is for this reason that CISEGD Cameroon organized a training workshop with donations  through the Globalgiven platform to train members of the newly created Moghamo Bee Farmers Cooperative as trainers who will intern train other members of the community on sustainable beekeeping.

30 participants were trained for 3 days and a guide provided to them that contains material for trainees who will become field trainers. 20 bee hives were constructed and installed at the Guzang watershed. 500 trees of prunus African and callaindra tree species planted to protect the watershed for biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement. Certificates of participation were also handed to the participants at the end of the training. We were previllaged and honored to have one of our Globalgiving donor from USA (MR JEFF POTTS) who was in Cameroon for a  brief visit  but created chance to visit the project and participated in the training for 2 days, His presence,participation  and words of encouragement  inspired  members of the Cooperative  and the community.

We are happy that the training was completed successful thanks to all donors who made individual donations to the project through the Globalgiving platform. We very thankful to Mr Sean potts ( American  Peace Corps Volunteer) for Guzang Village who has been verey intrumental to this project from day one; We would not have achieve this much without you. We are also grateful to technicians from ANCO and CISEGD who co-facilitated in the training workshop and produced a document that will be used by trainers in the field.It is our hope that the training will assist members of the Moghamo Beee Farmers Cooperative to accomplish their mission much more efficiently.

 

 CONCLUSSION AND OUTPUT

Overall, the workshop was very well received by all participants. This became clear through observations of the group dynamic during the training as well as in several individual conversations with the beekeepers. Also, the evaluation at the end of the workshop showed it to have been especially motivating for the youths to build up their honey production and invest more time into the well-being of their bees and to re-invest into equipment.

The men of adult age were inspired to also explore other potential sources of income that they did not know about before, such as the potential of beeswax marketing. Furthermore, the consumption of honey with health benefits that the community had not been aware of - presents an excellent nutrition substitution for children and elders and can contribute to the resilience and prevention of sicknesses and malnutrition of the villagers.

Almost all participants stated that most information given and hands-on practice in the field was new to them and provided them with a technical basis desperately needed to maintain and expand their bee colonies in order to make a profitable business out of them in the future. This beekeeping training marks an important step towards the development of environmentally friendly livelihoods which empower youths and adult men to contribute to a sustainable future for their community and the protection of honey bees in Batibo Cameroon. It was noted that the Guzang community watershed is a hotspot for bees as 18 out of the 20 hives installed got colonize in just a week. It is a sign that bees are desperate for  homes and the hive is one of such home that will protect them.The Moghamo Bee Cooperative have developed an apiary in this watershed and planted 500 trees to contribute in the protection of the watershed while safeguarding this endangered unique bee species ,maintain biodiversity and improve livelihood.

Recommendations for future steps include further workshops to build up further beekeeping and marketing/business skills, especially in the area of hygienic packaging and re-investing into beekeeping.

20 KTBH constructed for instalation at the Apiary
20 KTBH constructed for instalation at the Apiary
Mr Jeff Potts at the  watershed to install hives
Mr Jeff Potts at the watershed to install hives
Participants transporting hives for installation
Participants transporting hives for installation
Participants lessons on beeswax processing
Participants lessons on beeswax processing
Installed Hives at the Guzang watershed
Installed Hives at the Guzang watershed

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Carring for bees
Carring for bees

Beekeeping in Batibo Cameroon is gaining momentum beyond everyone’s expectation. The enthusiasm and motivation by the youths of this community towards the bee farming sector clearly justify that Youths have now realized that protecting and keeping bees will enable them gain employment for themselves and become rural entrepreneurs. Formerly there were very few beekeepers in Batibo and today; they are about 20 well developed apiaries with well over 300 Kenyan top bar hives constructed and installed. Bees can now find good homes to live in where their health/lives is valued and protected.Beekeeping is a growing industry in Cameroon where demand for honey and honey by-products outstrips supply, keeping prices high. Royal Jelly and Wax, candles, hair and body lotion can also be sold through Beekeeping, and Bees increase the pollination rates and fecundity of flowering crops. it should be noted that a third of every food we eat depends on the pollinating services of bees .A community/nation and world without bees will lead to   an agricultural ,economic and environmental disaters

In May 2017  CISEGD Cameroon delivered a 2-day training workshop on sustainable beekeeping and process of honey by products that trained 32 youths  of Batibo Sub-Division in Momo Division  the North West Region of   Cameroon and provided them  with  material support like bee suits, bee hive  using the generous funds donated via GlobalGiving. A bee farmer Cooperative known as the MOGHAMO BEE FARMERS COOPERATIVE (MBFC) was established.Youths in Batibo such as Elvise, Vincent ,Titus and many others come from poor farm families where   agriculture is the only source for livelihood . With very limited employment opportunities these youths find it difficult supporting themselves and their families through small scale farming and informal business. Elvis , Vincent, Titus among many other youths now believe that investing in beekeeping and protecting bees " is a valuable sector/skill which will allow them to earn good money, increase crop yield even from a small piece of land" .Most of them have embark on a hunt for bee swarms located in forest tree trunks and branches to install in their  constructed  KTB Hives in their developed apiaries.

   " I have developed an apiary of 60 hives 10 colonized hives are swarms that I collected from  forest tree trunks and branches thanks to the skills gotten from the training. I am happy that I will be able to make a living for myself and my family  as well as contribute to protect this valuable social insect (bees) thanks to the generous donations made via GlobalGiving said by Titus"

      "13 out of 18 hives colonized in my apiary are  swarms which I collected from forest tree trunks and branches. I even pay cattle Grazers  to search for me bee colonies  located  in the  grassland or forest and I have come to developed much  passion for bees  such that I spent almost every day in my apiary and work closely to bee hives without fear . I am confident that beekeeping will improve my livelihood and that of my family  thanks to all the donations made through GlobalGiving" said Elvis

 "In as much as I am involved in the collection of swarms from the forest to my developed apiary, I am happy that this training has  provided me with the skills on how to integrate beekeeping component in my farming systems  which I now experience in my cocoa , maize farm etc. Through this ; I will not only harvest honey or processed and sell its  by-products but I will have an increase in crop yield which  will increase my income and ensure food security for me and my family thanks to all the generous support made via GlobalGiving  said by Mr. Vincent"

The high profits associated with Beekeeping will help improve both the quality and availability of education for children in Batibo as well as  enhance livelihood for youths and families. This has generated a tremendous enthusiasm for the project from both youths and community leaders.

The establishment of the MOGHAMO BEE FARMERS COOPERATIVE (MBFC) is a big step forward for providing rural enterprise training, vocational skills and income for the youths of Batibo Sub-Division. a Community Revolving Fund(CRF) will be created in future to assist other community members and sustain the activities of the cooperative.  Part of the income generated from the sells of honey and honey by-products will be invested in expanding the project, continued support via GlobalGiving will allow it to fully support this youths, trained community based trainers (training of trainers(TOT), allowing more and more Youths to continue to learn and become ‘Rural Entrepreneurs’.

We would like to sincerely thank you for your generous donations made or to be made through Global Giving to COMMUNITY INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT AND GENDER DEVELOPMENT (CISEGD). Every donation helps ensure that we can continue helping our community especially the youths.Until our project is fully funded, we will be sending you regular reports about our work. You'll know what your donation has helped fund, what accomplishments we have achieved and what our current needs are.We will continue to help members of the established cooperative gain more knowledge and skills, expand their developed apiaries ,support other members of the communities, plant more bee loving trees as well as process and market good quality honey and honey-by products.

We also regret the late submission of this report that was due to circumstances beyond our control and deeply apologize for the inconveniences this might have caused.

N/B  A 3 days training was held  on August 14th,  15th , and 16th  2017 that trained members of the Moghamo Bee Farmers Cooperative as training of trainers (TOT) in  Sustainable Beekeeping. We will be submitting the report soon.

collecting  swarm from a tree branch
collecting swarm from a tree branch
An established apiary by a trained Youth
An established apiary by a trained Youth
Newly established apiarry by a trained youth
Newly established apiarry by a trained youth
sustainable harvesting of honey
sustainable harvesting of honey
Complet bee suits donoted to youths
Complet bee suits donoted to youths

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We have trained 30 individuals on sustainable beekeeping in Batibo Cameroon on February 24th and 25th. The training was a tremendous success. We focused on byproduct transformation by giving demonstrations on how to make honey lotion and honey wine. With funds raised by glocal giving we were able to purchase 5 bee suits and smokers to be used by local bee farmers. Funds will be used further for monitoring and evaluation and to procure more harvesting implements to help bee farmers.

On March 18th we had a meeting to discuss the formation of a Moghamo Beefarmers Co-operative. Executives were elected and a timetable was put in place to legitimize the co-operative. This co-operative will be the focal point of our efforts and will ensure the sustainability of the project as it is transfered to the hands of those who will benefit. 

 

Let it be known that our ability to report has become limited due to the Cameroonian government cutting the internet to our region as per the ongoing political crisis in the country. We apologize for the lack of detailed information and the sporadic reporting but we want to assure all contributors that the project is exceeding expectations and things are going very well.

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Organization Information

COMMUNITY INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT AND GENDER DE

Location: GUZANG--BATIBO,BAMENDA, NORTH WEST REGION - Cameroon
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @N/A
COMMUNITY INITIATIVE FOR SUSTAINABLE  ENVIRONMENT  AND GENDER DE
CISEGD Cameroon
Project Leader:
CISEGD Cameroon
TEAM LEADER
BAMENDA, North West Region Cameroon

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