In a recent initiative, the Environment Governance Institute (EGI), with support from IUCN Save Our Species, conducted a community capacity-building program for groups residing around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This initiative aimed to elevate the management practices of beekeeping businesses and boost the production of bee products, aligning with the overarching goal of helping these communities achieve their business objectives.
The primary focus of the training was to augment the participants’ capabilities in apiary management, the operation of beekeeping equipment, and the handling of bee products. Additionally, the program aimed to establish connections between the groups and potential buyers, creating a pathway for them to market their bee products effectively.
The hands-on training delved into key aspects of modern beekeeping, covering topics such as the fundamentals of beekeeping, the life cycle of bees, various hive types, equipment used in apiary management, harvesting and processing techniques, group marketing strategies, and efficient record-keeping practices. The practical session of the training zeroed in on essential activities, including apiary management, honey harvesting, processing, and packaging.
Recognizing that the group members possessed a foundational understanding of beekeeping, the training aimed to further develop their skills while addressing specific challenges they encountered.
These challenges included a lack of market avenues for their honey, issues related to cross combs, difficulties in attracting bees to colonize the hives, pest disturbances affecting hive stability, suboptimal harvesting and processing methods, and the impact of prolonged dry seasons leading to bees absconding from their hives.
The training sessions were conducted in Buhoma and Ruhija Sub-counties, situated in Kanungu and Kabale districts, respectively. The choice of these locations was strategic, aligning with the proximity of these communities to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
By conducting the training in these areas, EGI maximized the impact of the initiative and ensure that the skills acquired by the groups were directly applicable to their local contexts. Overall, the collaborative effort between EGI and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) as a testament to the commitment to community development and environmental conservation.
Empowering these communities with advanced beekeeping knowledge and skills, the initiative not only enhances their economic prospects but also contributes to the broader objective of safeguarding Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The Beekeeper Groups have the potential to become a thriving business that benefits the community and its members. With the support of EGI, the group has received the necessary knowledge and skills to improve their beekeeping practices and increase their production. Moreover, they have developed plans and a vision to guide their business operations and achieve their community and family goals. The groups are now well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for high-quality bee products in Uganda and beyond.
For God and My Country