Busy with bees
Beehives are a relatively new sight in the North West Province of Cameroon.
They were introduced about ten years ago by Simon Ngwainmbi founder of
the BERUDEP(*) community development organization.
a slow start, the hives are now becoming popular with local farmers who
recognize that the bees are helping the pollination of their crops as
well as providing honey and other bee products for home consumption and
sale. The Kenyan top bar hive is the favoured style and, once introduced
to their new home, the local bees become much easier to handle than when
in the wild. There are also fewer accidental bush fires from mishandled
efforts to smoke bees out their nests in trees.
With shops in provincial capitals, as well as in the local village, beekeepers
have a good outlet for their surplus honey, with efforts being made to
ensure that quality is consistently high. And, in research to discover
how long the African wild bees live in their new, artificial surroundings,
Simon Ngwainmbi marks the glass cover of a specially constructed 'research'
hive with the date when the queen bee lays her eggs and then, after the
eggs have hatched and the young bees have emerged from the pupae, these
too are marked so that their longevity can be assessed. Allowing for some
variation according to season, the average life expectancy for a worker
is 45 days.
Simon Ngwainmbi, on how new hives are making a diference to
Simon Ngwainmbi, talks about how the demand for honey has grown.
* Belo Rural Development
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