Modern bee-keeping revolutionises Tanzania

In Tanzania, modern day bee-keeping helps provide citizens with a way out of poverty and ensures an improved environment as well as a better quality of honey. Watch the video, and learn more about NIRAS’ collaboration with local organisations and how it has set new standards within honey production.

February 10, 2014

In the forest enriched areas of Tanzania, you will no longer meet bee-keepers risking their lives crawling towards the treetops in search for those golden drops of honey. The local bee-keepers have been trained in a new type of honey production that is not only more efficient but also much safer.

A new development project between the company Unyanyembe, the bilateral development project LIMAS which is funded by the Governments of Finland and Tanzania and NIRAS as the technical consultant is working to better equip Tanzania’s local bee-keepers.

Better honey for a better life

The focus of the development project is for local bee-keepers to have better working conditions and for the production to result in a better quality of honey. Among others, this means that the bee-keepers have been given suits that protect them from the bee stings as well as modern bee smokers.

Previously, the bee-keepers collected a bouquet of leaves, burned them and climbed the tall trees while attempting to direct the smoke towards the bees. The bees were chased off, but the smoke was uncontrollable and risked destroying the honey.

“By improving the methods for bee-keeping, we are also able to improve the living conditions for the citizens,” says Ephraim Mmbaga, commissioner in the Liwale area.

The honey revolution

Another new aspect is the fact that women are now able to work as bee-keepers on equal footing with the men and thereby provide for themselves.

“What we are doing is a honey revolution that is benefiting Tanzania as a whole,” Mary Jackson, manager in Unyanyembe, explains.

To the bee-keepers the new working conditions are much appreciated as previous generations risked their lives for the sweet honey.

“If we were to do this like our ancestors did it, we would have to climb the tress while praying not to fall down. If we succeeded in making it safely to ground again, we would then have to hope that there was not a hungry lion underneath waiting for its lunch,” says a bee-keeper from the project.