Project Renitantely beekeepers are highly skilled and motivated, yet they often lack the necessary capital to invest in their business. To support beekeepers in expanding their beekeeping enterprises, SEEDs project has been focussing on growing their apiaries. Last February, we provided beekeepers with subsidised materials to build new hives and we’re pleased to say that between September 2022 and April 2023, the total number of hives successfully increased from 344 to 453!
Alongside increasing the total number of hives available, it is also essential that the empty hives are populated with bee colonies. Using methods such as hive splitting from communal bee banks and catching wild colonies with swarm attractant, SEED’s beekeeping technicians have been providing practical support to help populate the new hives.
While the project continues to progress, the main challenge for the upcoming months will be to ensure that the bees remain in the hive throughout May to August, which marks the winter season in southeast Madagascar. With temperatures dropping, it will be harder for the bees to find sufficient nectar. As a result, whole colonies might abscond from the hive in a desperate search for food. To supplement the available forage for the bees, the beekeepers were recently provided with fruit tree seedlings and vegetable seeds to plant near their apiaries. The flowering plants will provide bees with some extra food during the colder months, whilst the crops also provide additional food security benefits to beekeepers. During this period, beekeepers won’t harvest honey, as it is an essential food source for the bees. When the honey supply in the hive becomes scarce, the beekeepers will supplement the bees’ food with sugarcane and sugar water.
We couldn't bee more thankful for your support and interest in our project!