Life Swap George- Beekeeping and Community Development

After his life-swap adventure through the BBC in 2017, George has since been under training on how to do beekeeping together with his community in Ntcheu, Central Malawi. After undergoing the bore-hole training, hive construction, post-drilling bore-hole training and colony management training, the last phase will now be honey harvesting and making a beekeeping calendar. 

Bee Keeping and Community Development

During the Colony Management training, George and his fellow club members were equipped with knowledge and skills on how to manage their bee colonies, apiaries and beehives for maximum hive products. Participants are said to have been very keen to learn and participate. George and the community are now able to manage their colonies, apiary sites and beehives! Majority of the beehives have now been colonized and people are managing them while waiting to undergo the honey harvesting training then harvest the honey in the long run. Due to the different colonization days of different beehives, a few club members have yet to complete the Colony Management Training. 

Colony management

As you may be aware, beekeeping requires a water source because bees need water for cooling, humidity, digestion, dilution of stored honey and for feeding developing larvae/bees. Hence, this training was a very crucial element of the beekeeping project. The Post-Drilling Training was conducted by facilitators from the Malawi government water, health and community development departments. They each taught both theory and practical work. George and his fellow club members were taught how to use and maintain the borehole ensuring the sustainability of this community resource. As a result of this maintenance training, club members have now gained skills to repair and maintain on other boreholes in the surrounding areas. 

2018.03.28 Borehole hand pump installation 2

In the last phase of honey harvesting which is the central process of beekeeping, training will be done by the beekeeping consultant that was assigned to do training. This will involve training George and the community on how to remove honey from honey combs/beehives so that it is isolated in a pure liquid form. The beekeeping calendar will involve coming up with a suggested checklist of activities for the beekeepers to guide George and his fellow club members in this amazing project. It will also involve an overview of what is likely to be going on each month in the different hives and various tasks for George and his fellow beekeepers. Activities will depend on the weather conditions in George’s area (Ntcheu) since these vary from area to area depending on weather patterns.

Support from The Responsible Safari Company

The Responsible Safari Company have had the great pleasure of getting to know George through the Life Swap programme and the Beekeeping Project. RSC assisted the BBC in filming the documentary and have since spent 18 months liasing with George, his community and a number of UK donors to ensure the project is sustainable.  Our team, have been inspired by the efforts of George and his community to implement a project that would generate income for many members of the community and felt that having instigated the link with the BBC, we should dedicate our time and resources to ensure the work continues. The Responsible Safari Company have not charged for our time or resources for this project over a period of 18 months. The Responsible Safari Company also donated £500 towards the project in addition to the services of the team members.

Support from donors

Special thanks to all those who have supported George and still are with his beekeeping project which has so far brought positive changes including safe water for multi-use to George and the community. We hope this project further brings a positive change to George and his fellow club members in the community. 

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