Musings on Beekeeping Development Projects [Archive] - Beesource Beekeeping Forums

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01-03-2015, 10:02 AM
Beekeeping is just about the perfect income-generating project for developing countries. It’s one of those activities that should always come up when ideas are thrown around about how to help the economies of impoverished families.

It has numerous advantages. A nice profit can be made from the sale of honey. It doesn’t have to be done full time so it can be done in addition to a normal job or in addition to attending the other crops and animals on a farm. But it can also effectively be a primary income source. It’s gender neutral since it can be done as easily by women as by men. And you can begin it for practically nothing if necessary.

But the one common factor is that there needs to be some sort of effective training of these new beekeepers if you want the project to be sustainable. This is something I’ve been involved with in one way or another ever since I came to Honduras just about 25 years ago. In that time I’ve seen and heard about beekeeping development projects done well—and not so well.

Training these new beekeepers was the topic of a recent discussion on the TECA site of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). TECA is an information platform of technologies and practices for small agricultural producers where there had been this discussion about “how people learn skills to become effective and profitable keepers of bees.

Since the topic always interests me and since I’ve been involved in beekeeping development projects and training beekeepers, it got me thinking. Here are my musings about it.

Musings about Beekeeping Development Projects: Training New Beekeepers

Reflexiones Sobre Proyectos Apícolas de Desarrollo: Entrenando Apicultores Nuevos


Adrian Quiney WI
01-03-2015, 07:26 PM
Tom, it's good to read what you are up to. I love the photos. Thanks.

01-03-2015, 08:18 PM
First one has to inspire the people so they have a burning desire to keep bees. Without someone having a strong personal interest and desire to learn and achieve it is hard to teach anything.

They need the desire to learn, the ability to learn, the opportunity to learn, the materials to put their into action plus follow up mentoring until they can fly solo.

01-08-2015, 08:58 PM
I really enjoyed what you wrote Tomas. It was helpful for me to see some of the key points that you found important to having a successful training program. Teaching a total overview for beginners is a large subject with a bunch of information that took some time for me to narrow down. Each year so far I have fine tuned the things that I presented and each winter I ponder what changes I will make in the following pre spring classes.

Reading what you wrote was great. I haven't had too many examples of a overall beekeeping class to look at and this was a nice find for me as I think about the upcoming season. Thank You for sharing!!!

01-09-2015, 10:37 AM
Yes, thanks for sharing these thoughts.
Some of your observations are equally applicable when teaching more affluent potential beekeepers.
I heartily affirm your core statement that beekeeping is a good activity for economic improvement.
I have been contributing to Heifer Project for that reason -- although I am sure there are many other places we could contribute that are highly effective.
Could you name a few of those organizations here?