November 2020: Ethiopia, Lalibela: Bee and Tree Project Progress Report

Bee and Tree Project Progress Report

This is project the PBF has developed to promote traditional Beekeepers to support their livelihoods by promoting the traditional and cultural importance of Bee and Honey in the traditional rural households. The tree nursery, seedlings are raised for planting purposes. We are local introducing species, nursery seedlings to have a better survival natural regeneration.

Our approach is both subsistence production and environmental conservation. Bees are essential for human life on this planet. Bees are very important to plants because they are pollination agents and they also depend on plant flowers for nectar to make honey. All bees are pollinators and pollinators are essential for crops, from fruit and vegetable to coffee and tea, to be able to thrive. The famous quote from Albert Einstein “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years left to live”.

We are proud established a Center for Bee and Tree in Lalibela to demonstrate to the farmers on best and beneficial ways they can practice Beekeeping and planting of trees. Beekeeping is a great way to help boost the bee population, when done right, and it’s also a great hobby.

Our center though still in its formative stages has become very popular for the locals who are keen to restart a traditional and cultural practice that defines Lalibela. This mountainous holy town where the legendary King Lalibela lived and built rock hewn churches is known for its special flavored honey.

We started the project with 4 groups which have received the modern hives and are currently cultivating deferent plants to increase honey production. PBF funded the tree nursery water supply for the daily water requirement of the project. These groups are organized at least 5 members each in. a monitoring system is improving forest and biodiversity protection and recording the potential impact of the project on biodiversity and local communities. At present 7,005 hectares of forest is being monitoring regularly. The project has so far planted 2603 hectares of new agro forestry and planted 1264 hectares of forest. They are planted more than 18,000 exotic and indigenous tree plants and planted road side plants.

The next stages will focus on strengthening local structures and developing the value chains for trees, fruits, vegetables, honey production and bees splitting. The PBF groups are working on marketing and financing the product range and exploring opportunities including crops input financing and the provision of working capital.

In our central demonstrative center we have also established a tree nursery where we prepare seedlings for planting and sale to the locals to increase the green cover that has disappeared over time due to irresponsible deforestation. With the tree nursery we want encourage people to also plant fast growing wood species to fill in for firewood which is still the main source of energy for cooking and building. Our beekeeping splitting center starting bought 20 bees and hives. We have started production within duration of 2 months.

We are also expanding the B+T project to the South of Ethiopia, Durame and Dokku as well as the East, Chaffe in the Harar region. We have slso identified sites in Kenya and Uganda.

Abebe Zewdu and Dan Amolo