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Project information

Harnessing the power of bees in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia’s Amhara region, 23% of people suffer extreme poverty. Beekeeping is proven to help the poorest families turn their lives around - by educating children, paying off debts, investing and saving. We now aim to expand our work, harnessing the power of bees to change more lives in Ethiopia.

February 2019 - February 2020

Charity information: Bees for Development Trust

Bees for Development Trust logo
  • Need


    The poorest people in Amhara are being left behind. Illiteracy, lack of land, lack of assets and social marginalisation leave some families trapped in chronic poverty. The poorest require help to develop diverse, sustainable and successful livelihoods.
    The people finding it hardest to escape from poverty are women, especially those without husbands, young people (especially girls), landless people, families without assets, and people with disabilities.


    We will address the challenge of chronic poverty among the most disadvantaged groups by helping people to get bees, establish apiaries, and develop small-scale, profitable beekeeping enterprises. They will be able to sell honey and beeswax to earn much-needed income.
    Honey is in high demand in Amhara. Beekeeping is accessible to people living in poverty because it requires relatively little land and labour - so can be a practical and achievable addition to their existing activities.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    450 people suffering extreme poverty helped to establish apiaries and earn new income from honey


    » Identify project beneficiaries, using specific criteria and stakeholder engagement.
    » Deliver seasonal modular beekeeping training courses.
    » Provide honey bee colonies to those most in need.
    » Provide follow-up and training until the new beekeepers are skilled and independent, are successfully selling their harvests of honey and beeswax.

    What success will look like

    We expect people to be able to increase their income by 15-20% as a result of keeping bees.
    This new income will make a substantial change to these young people's lives.

    Aim 2

    48 Lead Beekeepers become model beekeepers, training others and developing their own enterprises.


    » Provide advanced beekeeper training to 48 Lead Beekeepers.
    » Run an Enterprise Challenge Scheme - incentivising Lead Beekeepers to diversify and develop their beekeeping businesses.

    What success will look like

    Lead Beekeepers will offer support and guidance to new beekeepers, and develop their own successful businesses. They will inspire and motivate other young people to keep bees.

    Aim 3

    Ethiopian NGO, Bees for Development, supported with core funds to deliver projects and raise funds.


    » Maintain experienced team of staff, provide salaries and supervision to achieve excellent work.
    » Office and car maintained and run efficiently, enabling the organisation to be effective.

    What success will look like

    Bees for Development Ethiopia will raise more funds, continue serving their community well, and effectively transform the lives of the poorest people in Amhara, through beekeeping

  • Impact


    This Project will lead to long-term change by giving people skills and knowledge relevant to their situations. It will enable them to engage in a new profitable enterprise, and to earn cash income. Beneficiaries will own their own assets (bees), which, when well managed will generate a sustainable income. This additional income will be used to educate children, buy food and medicine, invest in other activities, pay-off debts, and create the conditions for improved well-being.


    There is a risk that continued overuse and misuse of pesticides in Amhara threaten bees. We are dealing with the problem through a related Project - Saving Bees from Pesticides. The Project concerns giving advice about the timing and dosage of pesticide application to minimise harm to bees.


    We will keep our website up-to-date with progress and news stories. We will use social media to communicate achievements, and send a Newsletter to our supporters. We will write an article in Bees for Development Journal. All will be shared with our donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £48,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £17,000 Staff salaries This covers the staff costs of Bees for Development Ethiopia for one year
      £6,000 Transport This cost supports the transport costs for fieldwork for Bees for Development Ethiopia for one year
      £7,000 Office costs and utilities This cost supports the costs of office rent and utilities in Ethiopia
      £11,500 Costs in UK A contribution to the salary of the Project Coordinator at Bees for Development, UK
      £6,500 Monitoring & Evaluation Data collection and progress review meetings so we can monitor our progress
  • Background


    Near Bahir Dar in Amhara, Ethiopia. Poverty stands at 23% of the population. Most people depend on rain fed agriculture and livestock for a living. The region suffers from falling productivity and over-grazing. Women and girls are marginalised and disempowered. There is a growing problem of landlessness.


    450 of the poorest families in Amhara will benefit by being helped to get started with bees and beekeeping.
    A further 48 young and enterprising people, with high aspirations, will be helped to take the lead as Model Beekeepers in their community.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    For 25 years Bees for Development has used sustainable beekeeping to alleviate poverty. We have delivered beekeeper training throughout the developing world. Our partner organisation Bees for Development Ethiopia, locally registered in 2012, is a well-respected NGO, specialised in beekeeping development. It has an excellent track-record of achievement in Amhara, Ethiopia, changing lives, reducing poverty and supporting livelihoods.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mr Tilahun Gebey, Director Bees For Development Ethiopia

    Tilahun Gebey is a well-respected beekeeper trainer and apiculture expert. He will manage and implement the Project.

    Dr Nicola Bradbear, Director Bees For Development

    As Bees for Development Director Nicola Bradbear will oversee the Project. She is an expert in apiculture and development.

    Mr Getsh Kassa

    Getsh works for Bees for Development Ethiopia and will be responsible for monitoring progress and evaluating the achievements of the project.

    Ms Janet Lowore

    Our Programme Manager for Africa, Janet provides continuous support to Bees for Development Ethiopia, fundraising, monitoring and evaluations.