Project information

Bee tree nurseries for honey in Amhara, Ethiopia

Bee tree nurseries will address the lack of forage for honey bees in Amhara, Ethiopia, caused by deforestation and overuse of herbicides. Selling honey is a vital income source for vulnerable households: this project will tackle threats to this income, increase honey harvests, and support bees.

February 2013 - August 2014

Charity information: Bees for Development Trust

Bees for Development Trust logo
  • Need


    Lack of bee plants in parts of Amhara State is causing honey yields to fall and reducing the incomes of beekeepers. Deforestation and unwise use of herbicides have reduced the food sources available to honey bees. Beekeepers identified this lack of bee forage as a major problem, and their (already vulnerable) livelihoods are seriously under threat as they rely heavily on honey bees for income.


    Working with a local partner NGO in Amhara State and the beekeeping community in the Meket District, we will establish a bee plant nursery. This will be a source of trees and herbaceous plants for bees and also a training and education hub for creating awareness about protecting the environment for bees. Indigenous plant species will be propagated and beekeepers will be advised how best to incorporate these plants into their agricultural plots, as well as establishing community bee reserves.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Establish a bee plant nursery in Meket, for the propagation of seedlings and their distribution.


    » Identify site, establish nursery and employ nursery manager.
    » Research best plant species and source materials (both seeds and seedlings) propagate plants
    » Design a business plan for distributing plant material, with a training package, during the project and ensure nursery continues as a community asset

    Success will be one bee plant nursery established, with a business plan for continued management, provision of bee plants and seeds to 1000 beekeepers, plus advice for aftercare.

    Aim 2

    Raise awareness and educate the wider community about maintaining plants for bees in the environment


    » Open day events to open commence the plant nursery, to advertise the benefits and importance, and to ensure engagement and continuation.
    » Workshops and training events in the community, to discuss best farming practices and to ensure after-care of planted materials
    » Awareness campaign (for example with honey tasting) plus radio coverage and the distribution of educational posters.

    Success will be 2 open days and 8 community events in 18 months attended by 500 participants who learn of the importance of bee forage, and 400 posters on bee forage in use.

  • Impact


    We will increase awareness about need for bee forage and we will change practices. There will be an increase in bee forage, and end to decline in honey yields. We will measure success by comparing surveys of farmer practices before and after, and levels of understanding. Honey yields will be monitored. Targets will be: that a beekeeper survey shows bee forage no longer the main problem, and 20 significant changes in bee forage availability can be attributed to the project - shown by photos


    There is a risk that plant materials - seedlings and seeds - are not managed properly after planting. The training and advice package which will support the distribution of plants will be developed carefully and with full involvement of key community members to ensure that it is practical and effective - and takes into account likely hazards such as grazing pressure and farming practices. The range of types of plants will be key here e.g. emphasis on valued fruit trees and multi-purpose species.


    Regular progress and impact reports will be sent to donors and updates will be included in our newsletters and on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Management Project set-up, reporting and monitoring procedures established
      £2,500 UK support costs Technical advice on plant species plus M&E and input to business plan development for post-project
      £7,000 Nursery manager Managing all aspects of nursery set-up and management
      £2,000 Equipment for nursery Fencing, planting pots, shed and water
      £2,000 Community events Logistics, communications, materials and refreshments
      £1,000 plantings materials seedlings, seeds, labour
      £1,500 education poster research, writing, design, printing and distribution
      £2,000 beekeeper training provision of advice and training about aftercare, plus the design of this package
  • Background


    Meket Worreda (district) in Amhara, Ethiopia. Households in this part of the State of Amhara are extremely poor and rely on beekeeping and honey sales for a major part of their income. Their motivation to protect and restore bee forage is high, to secure their livelihoods.


    Amhara is the poorest State in Ethiopia with 70% of households categorised as vulnerable or destitute. 1,000 beekeepers and their households in Meket district are the main target group. Beekeepers can achieve the majority of their income from beekeeping - but this vital income stream is now under threat. Securing and enhancing beekeeping livelihoods is crucial, with benefits for people, honey bees and the environment.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Bees for Development has an established track record of twenty years experience of working in developing countries in the field of poverty alleviation, building beekeeping livelihoods and conservation of biodiversity. In Ethiopia BfD advised and monitored the SOS Sahel beekeeping development project between 2000-2006 affording in-depth understanding of the crucial importance of beekeeping to households in Amhara for making a living. BfD has a unique wealth of expertise, experience and networks.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tilahun Gebey - Partner In Ethiopia

    Manage the project in Amhara. Specialist in community development, natural resource management and bees. Main local partner. Will employ local staff.

    Janet Lowore

    Manage the project in the UK, set up reporting and management procedures, monitor progress, give advice about the sustainability of the project.

    Nicola Bradbear

    Director of Bees for Development. Will advise about local bee forage species Take overall responsibility for financial accountability and management.