Beekeeping Entrepreneurs Reap big Rewards from METGE Training
By providing beekeeping skills, METGE is aiming to assist local people in producing and harvesting organic quality honey, and other products like propolis and wax, to sell at markets domestically. As part of METGE’s commitment to creating alternative livelihood options for our tree planting, we work with several local communities in Mt Elgon region to facilitate the construction and maintenance of beehives.
Honey from these modern beehives can be collected and sold to provide a new viable and sustainable source of income. This reduces dependence on economic activities that pose a threat to trees and other wildlife along with their habitat, like logging, Not only do bees provide a source of income, but they also attract and support natural pollinators that keep the trees and crops healthy.
Here we share a story from one of our beekeepers Mr Gidudu Ismail from Bumasifwa Beekeepers in Bumayose village, Bumasifwa Parish, Bumasifwa Sub County Budadiri County Sironko District. Mr Gidudu Ismail started beekeeping at the age of 12 years. He dropped out of school in Senior Two due to school fees challenges and started keeping bees. “My first harvest was 10 liters that I sold at Shs60,000 only and was very excited because I had never gotten such an amount of money in my life by then. In 2019, I added more hives and harvested about 285kgs which I sold at Shs2,000, 000 and I used and started a mobile money business that is paying me a profit of about Shs500,000 per month.
“I had challenges with colonizing the hives and harvesting but with the training from METGE, about 90 percent of my hives are colonized now, and hoping the rest are to be colonized too,” he says. However, inaccessibility to modern beekeeping equipment like bee suits was one of his biggest problems but now he has a full kit of harvesting equipment with the help of METGE. “I am planning to plant more forage trees provided by METGE to increase the nectar and pollen for my bees,” he says. This season he has harvested 269kgs of honey though still harvesting but he has to market it.
He therefore advises fellow youths to engage in this activity because it does not require a lot of time when you do the right thing.