The Rwentumba Beekeepers Group, a business component of the Rwentumba Community Land Association (CLA), recently underwent a two-day modern beekeeping training facilitated by ECOTRUST and the Hive Uganda. The training took place on the 23rd and 24th of February 2023, with the objective of building the capacity of the group to improve the management of the business and increase production of bee products, ultimately helping them achieve their business objectives.

The primary objective of the training was to enhance the group members’ capacity in apiary management, operation of beekeeping equipment, and handling of bee products. It also sought to connect the group with potential buyers of their bee products. The MoMo4C project supported the group in creating their plans and vision using the Vision Road Journey tool, which will aid them in achieving their community and family goals as members of this CLA business group. Furthermore, the Challenge Action Tree was utilized to address the current challenges that are hindering the group from performing well in their business.

The training was hands-on, touching on key aspects of modern beekeeping, such as the introduction to beekeeping, the life cycle of bees, types of hives, equipment used in apiary management, harvesting and processing, group marketing and record keeping. The practical session of the training focused on apiary management activities, honey harvesting, processing, and packaging.

The group members already had some basic knowledge in beekeeping, and the training aimed to build on their basic knowledge and skills while ensuring their challenges were addressed such as a lack of market for their honey, cross combs, failure of bees to colonize the hives, pests that disturb their hives, poor harvesting and processing methods, and prolonged dry seasons that lead to the absconding of their bees from the hives.

The training took place at the household of one of the more prominent beekeepers in the Rwentumba community, Mr. Sabati Mbabazi, who provided a venue for the training and offered his apiary for the practical sessions. A total of 33 male and 14 female group members participated in this training activity.

In recognition of their potential, the Rwentumba Communal Land Association (CLA) was awarded US$10,000 (UGX40,000,000) after being selected as the 1st Runner Up in the 2021 MoMo4C call for proposals. The grant was aimed at strengthening and supporting the Beekeeping business group. As part of this initiative, ECOTRUST identified The Hive Limited Uganda to provide the group with modern beekeeping methods and equipment, including CAB beehives with a harvesting capacity of 10-12kg and Langstroth beehives with a capacity of 9-10kg, which can be harvested 4-5 times a year. This support will significantly improve the productivity of the beekeepers and help to maximize their profits.

The Rwentumba Beekeepers Group has the potential to become a thriving business that benefits the community and its members. With the support of ECOTRUST and The Hive Uganda, the group has received the necessary training and equipment to improve their beekeeping practices and increase their production. Moreover, they have developed plans and a vision to guide their business operations and achieve their community and family goals. The group is now well-positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for high-quality bee products in Uganda and beyond.