Bees for business

Bees for business

In September 2018 we launched our Bees for Business project which will support 50 women in rural Burkina Faso to become beekeepers and produce honey giving them a year-round, sustainable source of income and enable them to better meet the livelihood needs of their family.

To deliver this project we are working in partnership with Plateforme Nationale du Commerce Équitable du Burkina (the country network for fair trade organisations).

This project will increase the capacity of the Benkadi de Dakoro group, a group of 25 female beekeepers based in the Léraba region of southern Burkina Faso. This group use traditional beekeeping methods to produce honey which significantly impairs both the quantity produced and its quality, lowering its market value. The women earn on average £40 per year each leaving them unable to support themselves and provide the basics for their family including food, primary healthcare and education.

Together with PNCEB we will increase the size of this group to 50, providing a further 25 women with the opportunity to develop a sustainable business and provide for their family. The group will receive 250 modern beehives, protective gear and training in modern beekeeping techniques and business management. This will enable them to significantly increase their production and the quality of the honey and increase their annual income to approximately £300 enabling them to better meet the needs of their family and work their way out of extreme poverty.

Beekeeper, Abibata, said:

“If I or my children become sick we rely on herbal medicine for treatment. We have no access to electricity and rely on torch light at night powered by a solar panel. My children study at night using this torch.”

Case study

Before joining our Bees for Business project, Abibata relied on seasonal fruit picking to provide for herself and her four children, an activity which only provided an income for three months of the year and left her struggling to meet the basic needs of her family.

“If I or my children become sick we rely on herbal medicine for treatment. We have no access to electricity and rely on torch light at night powered by a solar panel. My children study at night using this torch.”

Since joining Bees for Business, Abibata has learnt new skills including how to safely harvest honey and wax without impairing its quality, how to attract bees into her hives and hive maintenance.

With the income Abibata will earn from the sale of honey and wax she will be able to better support her four children. She also has plans to save for a bicycle.

“With the money I earn from this business I want to buy a bike. Right now I carry the honey and wax from the forest back to the village on my head but this is heavy and tiresome work. If I had a bike I would use it to transport the honey and also to travel to the market. I also want to build a house out of cement for a better sleep.”

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