FROM TRAINING TO SERVING – THE CYCLE OF A HONEY HARVEST

For nearly 12 months, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has been working with 16 community groups in the Kasungu district on beekeeping. Using a train the trainer model, after LWT taught our first groups in Katsirizika and Chilima, these apiarists then went on teach six new groups in Chisinga and Miyowe about all the basics of bee keeping. We still stop by every two months to offer technical assistance and deliver other conservation based lessons that highlight the ways a healthy environment is critical to successful honey harvesting.

In our latest visit, we brought hundreds of honey jars and, together with DNPW extension workers, we supervised the six groups to extract honey from their hives for the very first time.

This involves first inspecting the hive to ensure it’s ready for extraction. Then the groups harvest the honeycomb contents of the hives. Next the honey is extracted from the beeswax. Once all the bottles have been cleaned, the honey is served while the bottles dry. This is a process of making sure all the tiny parts of beeswax and other debris have been removed. Then the bottles are filled. Between the six groups, 360 kg of honey was bottled over the space of just one day.

 

 

Some of the wax is sold and the rest is kept to encourage bees to enter hives in the future. Once all honey is extracted the hives are re-inspected to check they’re conducive for bees to continue living in. To ensure it’s a healthy habitat for bees long term, not all the honey is harvested. It’s important to leave some behind in the hive so the bee colony can keep growing. These groups will sell the honey to fund ongoing activities.

At the end of a hard days harvest, the groups get together and celebrates. One way of doing this is through dance. In this video the groups sing that you can’t get honey without a sting from a bee. But that those are worth it for all the delicious, nutritious honey they cultivate. Our education programme manager Steve managed to walk away with just one sting to his hand. All in all it was a successful day. Steve will return as feasible with COVID19 precautions and, in five to six months time, honey will be harvested once more.

 

 

At the end of a hard days harvest, the groups get together and celebrates. One way of doing this is through dance. In this video the groups sing that you can’t get honey without a sting from a bee. But that those are worth it for all the delicious, nutritious honey they cultivate. Our education programme manager Steve managed to walk away with just one sting to his hand. All in all it was a successful day. Steve will return as feasible with COVID19 precautions and, in five to six months time, honey will be harvested once more.

 


At the end of a hard days harvest, the groups get together and celebrates. One way of doing this is through dance. In this video the groups sing that you can’t get honey without a sting from a bee. But that those are worth it for all the delicious, nutritious honey they cultivate. Our education programme manager Steve managed to walk away with just one sting to his hand. All in all it was a successful day. Steve will return as feasible with COVID19 precautions and, in five to six months time, honey will be harvested once more.