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Bee nature friendly through Modern and Sustainable Beekeeping

Simply put bees are among the best nature keepers in the world. They pollinate our plants which means they take pollen between plants and fertilize them. They also help plants reproduce and survive by preventing inbreeding.

Science says more than 90% of plants rely on pollinators (bees) reproduce which means bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat.
Bees of course produce honey which apart from having a lot of medicinal benefits it is becoming a popular income generating product in different parts of Tanzania.
 According to Tanzania Forest Services Agency (TFS), by the end of 2020 Tanzania was the second producer of honey in Africa producing around 30,400 tonnes of honey per annum. With support from the government and other stakeholders the quantity of honey produced is expected to double by 2025.
Kigoma is one of the famous producers of honey in Tanzania. With a processing plant in Kasulu bee keepers from nearby areas like Buhigwe stand a good chance of access to the processing plant and indeed the market for their honey.
Sadly, most of the few bee keepers in Buhigwe use local methods which do not help them yield enough honey despite the efforts they put in. Lack of skills and resources coupled with deforestation, drought or excessive rainfalls, forest fires and the use of agriculture and livestock chemicals bee keeping in Buhigwe hasn’t been effectively tapped into despite all the opportunities available.
WWF Tanzania while in Buhigwe took an initiative to train 20 beekeepers from four villages as an initiative to enable these communities understand the importance of commercial and sustainable beekeeping for livelihoods improvements, income generation and environment[al conservation. These bee keepers luckily have modern bee hives that were donated by one CSO a few years ago but they lacked knowledge to utilize the bee hives to their maximum capacity.
A CBNRM specialist from WWF Deogratias Kilasara had an interesting session with the bee keepers on the following areas:
  1. Bee biology and behaviour
  2. Bee pests, predators and diseases
  3. The importance of beekeeping
  4. Beekeeping systems;
  5. Beekeeping equipment
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:-
  1. Identify the different castes of honey bee colony.
  2. State the roles played by the different castes in a honey bee colony.
  3. Explain the life cycle of the different bee castes.
  4. Identify different bee pests, predators and diseases
  5. Explain the effects of pests, predators and diseases on beekeeping
  6. Suggest methods to control various bee pests, predators and diseases
  7. Understand and appreciate the importance of beekeeping in the society
  8.  Describe the importance of the various bee products and services
  9. Appreciate the importance of keeping bees in hives
  10. Describe the different beekeeping systems
  11. Understand the economic importance of the different beekeeping systems
  12. Identify the different beekeeping equipment and their uses; and
  13. Demonstrate the operation and use of the various beekeeping equipment.
  1. Hive products
  2. Quality honey harvesting
  3. Processing honey
  4. Marketing of hives products
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:-
  1. List and explain the uses of the different bee products
  2.  Explain how the different bee products are extracted
  3. Identify , harvest, grade and handle excellent quality honey
  4. Explain the different methods used to check water content in honey
  5. State the different uses of honey
  6. Describe the various methods of processing honey
  7.  Process honey for sale or use
  8. understand beekeeping management, products and marketing
  1. Pollination
  2. Apiary management
  3. The floral calendar and bee keeping
  4. Catching a swarm
  5. Transferring bees
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:-
  1. Define pollination
  2. Understand the importance of pollination
  3. Identify and list down bee forage plants in their areas
  4. Construct a flowering calendar for their local areas
  5.  Explain possible dangers to bees arising from spraying crops with pesticides, during flowering stage
  6. Identify a good apiary site
  7. Demonstrate hive hanging and placing
  8. Demonstrate how to attract bees into a new empty hive, catch a wild swarm, transfer bees into a hive, division of an existing colony and unite smaller colonies.
  9.  Keep clean and hygienic apiary
  10. Carry out hive inspection
  11. Keep good records
  12. Identify and explain the 4 key seasons of a colony cycle in a year
  13. Manage colonies during the different seasons in a year
  14. Tell signs of harvesting period
  1. Hive inspection
  2. Populating the hive
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:-
  1. Understand the important steps in hive inspection,
  2. Carry out systematic hive inspection.
  3. Describe the methods involved in populating a hive
A beneficiary from Kibwigwa village expressing his gratitude said he is expecting a better future for himself and his family as he sees the potential to produce more honey and therefore get more revenue.
“I am eager to put these teachings into practice. We were all losing hope of benefiting from bee keeping as we were doing all that we could but we were not seeing any good outcomes, now I know that we were doing it all wrong!”
WWF Tanzania was in Buhigwe as part of the World Environment Day commemorations
Bee keeping training in Buhigwe