Amongst the honey products exhibitors at the Uganda National Honey week Exhibition that took place on the 23rd-27th at Forest Mall Lugogo parking grounds were representatives of the over 400 apiary farmers JGI in Uganda is supporting to increase their honey production in order to increase their household income under the USAID/BP Project. These 3 groups of farmers live adjacent to Budongo and Kalinzu Central Forest Reserves in Masindi and Bushenyi districts and through our apiculture Project they are working to conserve bio diversity in these forests. The groups include; Swazi Nitubasa CFM, Nyarugote Intergrated CFM and Kapeeka Intergrated Community Development Association.
the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda has managed to provide them with beekeeping equipment including improved modern hives and now they harvested their organic quality honey which was more than 1000kgs and other products like propolis and wax that they managed to sell at exhibition. Skills or apiculture knowledge was also provided to these groups and these have enabled them to over come challenges they had at the beginning of carrying out apiculture since almost all of them had never been involved in apiary.
Some of the challenges included hives not being colonized, some hives had drones instead of worker bees which could eat up the honey instead of making it and therefore this resulted into farmers harvesting less amount of honey, hives being invaded by insects, lizards and butterflies which forced the bees out of the hives, and others.
So these farmers were advised to on how to handle the hives, inspect their hives on a regular basis or at least twice or once a week since this was to help chase away any hive invaders as well as provided with skills of how to get rid of the drones by putting a new queen bee in the hive, since she will be in position to produce more worker bees which will out number the dormant drones.
Due to the above, the beneficiaries of the JGI’s USAID/ Biodiversity Program have no major challenges and JGI is working to connect them to local and international markets were they can sell their quality products.