June 2021: Ethiopia / Lalibela: Bee and Tree Demonstration and Training Center, update

PBF Laudato Si Bee and Tree Demonstration and Training Center, Lalibela (Progress Report)

We set up our beehives in  July, 2020. We then sourced bee from farmers and move them from traditional to modern hives. By September and October we got some honey production. After October there was no rain, a dry period that lasted till April. Currently we have plenty of flowers inside and around our site.

Our partner groups got the modern hives after setting up their individual sites. It took them time to move the bees from the traditional hives to modern ones because to some, it was a learning process. The others could not get enough bee colonies to stock their hives.

Out of our partner groups, two are doing a commendable work. The Ayele group and Getasew are innovative in their approach and have set up their sites in a way that attracts the bee. They have planted trees and shrubs that flower very well for the bee.

There is a clear difference between Southern Ethiopia and Lalibela which is in the North of the country. South is more green and therefore the bee colonies easily inhabit the new hives and multiply very fast. In Lalibela, the bees have to travel several kilometers to gather enough nectar from the wild plants for honey production.

September and October are the honey harvest period. The advantage of the PBF, B+T is the environmental preservation component where we nurse seedlings and plant trees to replace the fast disappearing natural forests.

We want to work more with rural farmers rather than restrict ourselves to the Lalibela township area. The farmers have authentic natural knowledge on bee keeping and therefore we shall only compliment their efforts with the introduction of new innovative technology and information to increase their production and and the protection of nature through tree planting.

Abebe Zewdu and Dan Amolo 

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