Harvesting honey. Maintaining the ‘fences’ and addressing problems. Updates from the Beehive Project in Tanzania.
It’s been about a year since Moses in Tanzania first approached us about assisting with his beehive project. Our first contact was about four years ago… yes you guessed it, via Facebook.
56 Beehives and 5 Fences!
To date Nikela has sponsored the construction and installation of 56 beehives. Now, these are no ordinary beehives, but beehives that are laid out in a fence fashion along farmers’ fields. Why? Because unlike you’ve been told, elephants are not afraid of mice, they’re afraid of bees.
In this part of Tanzania, near its third largest city is a protected area for wildlife. However, as the population keeps expanding villages get closer and closer to these areas. Moses, who spends his time mitigating human wildlife conflicts talked to a group of these farmers.
What began as an experiment with the first set of 10 beehives grew into a successful beehive project. As each new beehive fence is installed requests for more come in. You can imagine! If your neighbors crops of maize and vegetables are being trampled by elephants and buffalo you’d be happy to hear about a solution too.
After dancing around the rains while completing the fifth beehive fence it’s time for maintenance and harvesting.
This in from Moses from the field…
“We harvested our first trial 3 days ago in the night. (It was a trial) Why In the night? It’s a time when bees are sleepy and can’t see well. On Monday we did a day time harvest also. That bottle of honey you see in the photo will be presented to Mr Daima one of the farmers.” Actually he was one of the first farmers who has seen much success at keeping the elephants out of his crops.
Since the installation of the beehive fences there also has been no word of the infamous ‘one tusked’ bull elephant either.
Moses goes on, “Thanks for the maintenance costs. This really helps us clear the long tall grasses, paint anti-insect black oil that kills small dangerous insects climbing the poles that bring disease to bees.”
While doing the beehive project maintenance Moses was happy to report, “Now farmers cultivate maize and beans timely because bees have blocked buffaloes and elephants encroaching their farms. They are most grateful.”
Currently 36 more beehives are needed to build ‘fences’. Also monthly maintenance and harvesting trips are necessary.