World Bee Day is celebrated on May 20. On this day Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping, was born in 1734. The purpose of the international day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.
Emmanuel International’s “Beekeeping Project” in Tanzania looks at how beekeeping can be used to further develop and improve livelihoods for rural people. Beekeeping is integrated with missional development and our work in conservation agriculture, tree planting and entrepreneurship.
Beehives in a field can greatly increase crop yields. As bees pollinate the crops, harvest yields are boosted, generating more food and extra income for the family. Beekeeping also gives a financial reason to protect and conserve the environment and to plant trees. Additionally, the sales of honey and beeswax generate further income for a beekeeper and the sale of value-added beeswax products are able to boost income through local women’s groups.
Emmanuel International is training new beekeepers through groups in Malya, Kayenze and Ngudu, as well as managing hives at a demonstration plot at a Church Planting School. Local villagers are trained to establish apiaries, care for and manage Top-Bar hives and harvest and process honey and beeswax. Women’s groups have learned how to make products using beeswax, such as balms, candles and soaps, which are then sold to generate income.
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You can find out more about the work that Tim and Rachel Monger are doing in this regard on their blog, What’s Cookin’ in Tanzania.