They built 120 beehives in just three days, in the village of Bermi in Babati, Tanzania, in a bid to boost local farmers’ income from honey and raise funds for the charity Farm Africa.
This was one of the events organised this year as part of the Food for Good campaign, which unites the global food and hospitality industry behind Farm Africa’s vision of a prosperous rural Africa.
The businesswomen along with local politicians, non-governmental organisation workers and the local community held a closing ceremony to officially hand over the beehives.
“A 72-hour challenge is the beginning of a local community business,” said Lorraine Hendle, md retail and manufacturing at William Reed Business Media.
“The women, men and children of the Bermi community will all benefit from this resource.”
The modern Langstroth beehives, which sit on the ground, will help more women to engage in beekeeping. Babati’s beekeepers typically use traditional beehives suspended high in trees but it is culturally unacceptable for women to climb trees.
The bees are helping the Nou Forest that has experienced significant deforestation and the honey production provides an economically viable alternative to cropland conversion and timber harvesting.
“The Big Beehive Build’s premise is beautifully simple: No bees, no trees. No honey, no money,” said Jenni Bright, Farm Africa’s head of fundraising. “Bees, as pollinators, improve the forest ecosystem, and equally fruit trees improve honey production, which helps local women earn more money.”
The team is still working hard to meet their fundraising target of £80,000. Between October 14 2017 and January 14 2018 donations in support of the Big Beehive Build will go to Farm Africa’s Growing Futures appeal that will help young farmers living in western Kenya develop sustainable horticulture businesses.
‘Supporting future generations’
Arni Oddur Thordarsson, ceo of Marel, a sponsor of the challenge said: “Sustainable food production is a key factor in supporting the future generations of the earth and Marel is proud to support initiatives that have the sustainable development of the food industry as their end goal.”
Kirstie Jamieson, marketing director at Valeo Foods UK, another backer of the project, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Farm Africa on the Big Beehive Build. This initiative provides a natural fit with the Rowse brand, building on our continued investment and commitment to make a difference to people’s lives through bee farming.”