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Blessed Bee for Life is an established and registered Community Based Organization (CBO) in Yumbe District in West Nile region of Uganda.
We make bee hives, provide harvest gears, tools, train beekeepers with modern bee keeping techniques, link the bee farmers to the market and the local authorities. From 2013, we are now capable of producing more than 17 tons of high-quality honey and other bee products anually with the help of modern beekeeping techniques.
Blessed Bee for Life in its key operations, has with time had a hand in exposing the rural poor to the rest of the country and beyond.
The initiative so far has brought many stakeholders together in a more collaborative manner for a common goal of a steady progress for sustainable development.
I Mophart Maffu, I'm grateful to God to write about the initiation of Blessed Bee for Life and about my aspirations, experiences, ambitions, commitment, ideas, love for my dream, taking risk to take a step to leave teaching for practicing new ideas, acting positively to the environment, using God’s nature to help the parents to care and educate their children. Blessed Bee for Life was initiated in 1999 while I was a primary teacher. What motivated me to initiate BBL was the rate of girl child drop out from school due to ignorance, poverty, low level of informal education by parents where the parents could not care for the girl child's condition. I had to leave teaching and take a new direction to open the eyes of the parents with beekeeping. It appeared a foolish idea but no idea is foolish when it comes from the bottom of your heart, when you have the passion, commitment, urge, the will and the desire to start acting upon your dream. The world is ready to go with you when you are sincere,trustworthy and self controlled. I thank "Here Is Life" which mentored me, "Glory Bee foods", "Bee for Christ" which supported us, "SNV" which built our capacity and exposed us to the markets and the government whch gave us the Security to reach this level.
A bee is one of the most useful insect in Agriculture since it aids in pollination, acts as source of food for animals, birds and human. Some of its products are medicinal and also acts as security.
With all this vast importance of bees , being a natural insect and given its biodiversity , then each one of us should make it a point to support their co-existance.
In my own terms therefore, "BEES " stands for 'Become Economically Equipped in Society'.
"Bees are free gifts from God to humans, preserve bees, preserve nature and support Blessed Bee for Life efforts for socioeconomic empowerment in Africa."
Beekeeping improves the ecology. It helps plant reproduction. Bees do not over-graze as other animals do. Bees produce honey, wax and propolis which are non-perishable commodities that we can sell locally or abroad. Bees provide pollination service. This is an indispensable activity in the food production process.
About Honey Bee Keeping in Uganda Honey, the natural food, has many times been described as man's sweetest food. The credit must never go to man but to the bees, which may be called "the golden insect". Africa is blessed with numerous types of wild honeybee. Bees exist everywhere on the African continent where man lives, from the equatorial evergreen rain-forest to the desert oasis, although they are more numerous in the drier Savannah than in the wetter forest areas. They all produce honey, the nutritious natural food good for both man and animals.
In Uganda, honey production potential is enormous, estimated at 500,000 metric tones per year, but this potential has not yet been fully exploited. The Ugandan Beekeepers Association estimates that only between 800-1200 metric tones of honey is produced per year due to current lack of bee-stock.
Traditional methods of bee keeping are still predominant in Uganda where it remains an important seasonal activity in many regions. Rural people have a good knowledge of bees, plants and places favored by bees but hives are usually destroyed and colonies often killed in the process of collecting honey.
Beehives are traditionally constructed from timber, bamboo boruss palms or woven from forest climbers and honey is usually harvested twice a year between March - June and the secondary season in August - October.
In order to produce one pound of honey, the bees must bring in about 75,000 loads of nectar into the hive. This amount of flying is equal to roughly four to six times around the circumference of the earth.
To process the gathered nectar into honey, the receiving bee will transfer it to a honeycomb cell. Since the water content is high, about ¾ of it must be removed. This is accomplished when the bees distribute themselves throughout the hive and start beating their wings. This fanning not only removes excess moisture, but keeps the hive at a constant temperature of 94°F. The lifetime of a worker bee is about six weeks. During that time, she will have made only ½ tsp. of honey.
Blessed Bee for Life is proud to have won an international Award in the 2013.
"2013 SEED Africa Award Winner Biodiversity Yumbe, Uganda"