In Utelewe village, most farmers grow corn and/or potatoes year-round, which depletes the health of the soil and limits their capacity to grow additional nutrient-rich crops. This project will establish beehives and avocado trees on twenty family farms to diversify crops and income sources. Twelve males and eight females will be trained on beehive construction, beehive management and proper avocado tree management from a local expert. Through honey and avocado sales, each family will generate additional income, improve nutrition within the community, and reduce soil erosion.
Group members participated in a two day beekeeping seminar and beehive construction demonstration, which was led by a local expert. During the workshops, the farmers also learned how to cook guinea pig meat, harvest wine, and strain bees wax and honey. To date, 20 double stack beehives, a type of beehive to maximize production and efficiency, have been built and the farmers have planted 400 avocado tree saplings, which have had a 94% survival rate. Half of the beehives are already inhabited with bees, and once the rainy season is over and the swarming season begins, the rest of the bees will migrate to the hives. In preparation for honey harvesting, the farmers are actively identifying local buyers in their community and neighboring villages. Over the next two years, the famers will continue to harvest the avocado saplings, supplementing them with manure and mulch in order to grow to full maturity.
“Bees have immigrated into my beehive and I am excited to start harvesting honey.” – Asia, Project Leader
“I am thankful for this project. Once I sell honey I will send that money to school for my daughter.” – Zebedayo, Project Participant