Beekeeping project helps community to conserve forests

A beekeeping project in Mudzimu village in Hurungwe has inspired the community to conserve its forests as well.

Mudzimu beeking project member shows off some of the honey the group is making.
Mudzimu beeking project member shows off some of the honey the group is making.

“We have also started taking more care of our forests because this is where the bees live and build their natural hives,” said Arnold Guzha, chairperson of the Mudzimu Bee Keeping Group.

“We have not used our forests wisely until now,” said Guzha. “Now, instead of cutting down trees, we are keeping them.”

“Our lives are changing for the better. We share the income among group members and also assist widows and old people in our village.”

Part of the proceeds also goes to investing in more beehives and buy needed materials for the business.

The group was looking forward to finding more markets for their honey.

One beehive has the potential of producing 50 bottles of honey, which is sold at $2 each. The group currently has 20 beehives.

The Mudzimu Bee Keeping Group, an initiative of Agriculture for Sustainable Development (ASD), a non-governmental organisation in the area, has 40 members, 22 of whom are women.

Village Headman, Amos Chibaro, said the project was now the main source of livelihood for the people in the area, apart from agricultural activities.

The group was trained by ASD in bee keeping and forestry management in March 2008. It also assisted the group with 10 beehives, protective garments such as overalls, gloves and gumboots, 1000 bottles for packaging the honey, sieves, brushes and wire.

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