Project information

African women learn beekeeping

For women smallholder farmers in Africa, beekeeping is real opportunity. Honey is nutritious food and can be sold for profit. The key to success is knowledge, not equipment. We will publish practical information and guides and send to our 'knowledge champions' who will use the resources in training.

February 2014 - February 2015

Charity information: Bees for Development Trust

Bees for Development Trust logo
  • Need


    African women have heavy domestic and agricultural workloads and yet are economically disempowered. They desperately need income generating activities that they can own, and fit in with other duties. Most do not own land - another reason why beekeeping is so beneficial. This project is solving the problem of women's poverty and disempowerment by producing and distributing technical information - directly relevant to helping women start beekeeping and earn a profit to help their families.


    Beekeeping fits well with the constraints of being a woman smallholder farmer. In Uganda, women farmers are earning an extra UK£50 a year from keeping 4-5 colonies at home. This project will provide information, practical know-how and technical advice of direct relevance to women so they can start beekeeping. No equipment is given. This way we promote self-reliance and reach more women with the funds we have. We will send training resources to our 'knowledge champions' to train local women.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Information and practical beekeeping advice with specific relevance to women is made available


    » We will write training materials, practical information and articles of direct relevance to women who want to start beekeeping
    » We will distribute this information in Bees for Development Journal, a magazine sent regularly to beekeeper trainers in Africa

    Six practical information articles will be written with specific relevance for women beekeepers. These will be documented and published.

    Aim 2

    Women can access this information - through local community-based organisations and institutions


    » We will distribute the materials to local 'knowledge champions' - our key partners - who will train and empower women in their communities.

    Bees for Development Journal sent regularly to 20 beekeeping institutions, 50 community-based organisations, 100 individual women champions. Multiple copies sent for distribution.

    Aim 3

    Women learn how to process beeswax and make beeswax products, such as candles and skin creams.


    » We will make a CD with photographs showing the making process in a clear step-by-step format. We will distribute through our 'knowledge champions'.

    One CD produced with clear photographs showing the methods. 1000 copies made and distributed to our 'knowledge champions'

  • Impact


    An increase in earnings by women beekeepers will be achieved. We will demonstrate this success through a survey among those trained by our 'knowledge champions', using the materials we produced and sent. Our target for success is for 35% of the targeted 800 women beekeepers to report that they have increased their earnings from beekeeping as a result of the new knowledge. Key to success of the project is that women beekeepers will earn their own money to spend as they decide.


    Our target beneficiaries are poor women subsistence farmers. Our 'knowledge champions' will use the resources provided to train women beekeepers, some of whom may be illiterate. The risk is they lack resources to provide necessary follow-up. Bees for Development has a well-established working relationship with excellent partners across Africa and we will mitigate this possible risk by working only with those with proven track record of delivering effective services to rural communities.


    News and progress reports will be communicated in our regular Supporters Newsletter. We will open a webpage, which will carry regular news and updates on this project. We will use twitter to tell about interest stories and major achievements.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £15,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £11,000 Journal Journal costs £22 per year, per person including writing, editing, printing and postage x 500
      £3,000 CD £3 per CD, including writing, copying, design, postage, x 1000 copies
      £1,000 M&E and admin Management, administration, setting up partnership arrangements, M&E, communications
  • Background


    Ten African countries. Smallholder farming is set to remain the dominant livelihood in much of Africa and farmers must diversify and make more productive, sustainable use of their natural resources. Whilst consensus is building that smallholder agriculture needs more support there is also a "growing awareness that women smallholder farmers face particular constraints and need special support" (Practical Action 2012). Sub-Sahara Africa is off-track in four of its Millenium Development Goals.


    800 poor women farmers in ten African countries will benefit. Currently they are struggling to make ends meet from subsistence farming. Christine Nambale, Uganda, is one of our target group. Already she has started beekeeping but she wants to learn more about top-bar beekeeping and how to make beeswax products. She needs money of her own to help support her elderly mother and buy clothes for her children. Our 'knowledge champions' will target the poorest, lacking other sources of income.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Bees for Development has an established track record of working in developing countries in the field of poverty alleviation through beekeeping. BfD has a unique wealth of expertise, experience and networks. We have published 107 issues of Bees for Development Journal to date, and many information posters and technical guides. With unrivalled practical experience, and a wide network of ‘knowledge champions’ we are well placed to develop and deliver new resources, specifically for women beekeepers

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Janet Lowore, Bees For Development, UK

    Manage the project in the UK, coordinate writing and publication of training resources, set up reporting and management procedures, monitor progress

    Grace Asiko, National Beekeeping Station, Nairobi, Kenya

    Partner. With her team Grace will be our ‘knowledge champion’ in Kenya, and train and help women's groups. The new resources will increase her impact.

    Jennifer Tumwine, Kamwenge Beekeepers, Uganda

    Partner. A successful beekeeper and honey trader Jennifer is a brilliant role model for other women and is one of our ’knowledge champions’ in Uganda.

    Bosco Kisaali, Mt. Elgon Beekeepers, Uganda

    Partner. As ‘knowledge champion’, Bosco, a beekeeper trainer and innovator will use the new resources to train women beekeepers in his community