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BeeSupport, Amsterdam

Ghana: Bee Project

The farmers in Northern Ghana live in high poverty. The beekeeping project gives women and youth the opportunity to generate their own income and to have a meaningful and respectful position in their community and family.

Madam Safura is proud!

“I am very glad that our family has been introduced to appropriate beekeeping. My husband was introduced first and I was introduced later. We will teach this technique to our children and they will also teach it to their children because the benefits are enormous to us. We can depend on it for alternative income.

During the first year of our engaging in beekeeping we felt so threatened of bee stings and we did not see the positivism in it but after being encouraged, motivated and being trained by CPYWD, things turned over. The first harvests were not so encouraging but the second and third were good. If it has not been for the GH¢100 (equivalent of € 65) sale of honey harvested from our few hives my husband and I would not have been able to organize the naming ceremony for newly born baby boy, a ceremony cherished in our community. In the future the beekeeping will assist me to pay for the health and school needs of my children.

(The story of Madam Safura, trained in beekeeping in the pilot group)

Why beekeeping?

Beekeeping has a great environmental impact as well as income generating potential. The cross-fertilization effect promotes crop yielding and creates an ecological environment. Traditional bee hunters burn the tree nests of the bees, but modern beekeeping prevents bush burning and destruction of the bees. Beekeepers are more aware of keeping the environment green, since they benefit from the diversity of plants and preservation.

Further more beekeeping products generate income, with a high profit rate. At the same time it is not very time consuming. Since the women are already very busy with farming, taking care of the children, household and other duties, this is very relevant.

And at last bee products (honey, bee wax and pollen) are very healthy. Honey is a good replacement of sugar and when you have a cold it has a healing effect.

Anyone who is trained and has a small credit can become a beekeeper.

The project

In phase 1 (2008-2009) CPYWD has trained 150 women and youth in beekeeping in 9 communities in Bimbilla area (click here for google maps). In that year we also started with the building of a multifunctional Resource Centre, whereby the participants will be trained further and where the honey will be processed and bottled. The quality of the honey will be checked and guaranteed in this way.

The participants were anxious to know more about modern beekeeping, as Madam Safura also described.

We have been able to achieve all objectives of phase one, expect some trainings who have been postponed to phase 2. See the year report for all detailed information.

In October 2009 we started with phase 2 of the project. In phase 2 all the 150 participants will receive a beehives set (including protecting cloths) so they can actually start as a beekeeper. They have to pay the beekeeping set back within three years. Each honey harvest they hand over a percentage of their income plus a service fee.

For the rest a field worker a Resource Centre guarder will be hired to make sure that the project will be monitored and the participants take care of their beehives properly.

During the year the participants will be offered trainings in business management, honey harvesting, risk management, quality control, marketing and more. See proposal phase 2 for the full project proposal.

At this moment the staff in Ghana is designing a business plan for the beekeeping project. At the end of 2010 our long term plans will be clear, including the exit strategy. At this moment we are looking at the possibilities to partner with micro finance institutions/banks. If we want to extend the project and train and support more women, is will be necessary to involve micro finance institutions.

Summarized updates on Phase II of the Beekeeping project. January 2011.


Credit input support

* I50 Beehives with metal stands, 150 pairs of hand gloves, 150 pairs of wellington boots, and 150 sets of head veils acquired and distributed to 138 farmers from 9 communities as input credit.

* Each of the 138 beneficiaries received an Input package valued at Gh¢145.70 to be paid back within three years through income generated from harvest sales. Amounts that would be paid back would be used to acquire new additional inputs for new sets of farmers (expectant beneficiaries) waiting.

* Six (6) persons have not received their inputs. This is as a result of 2 deaths, 3 due to migration and 1 due to lack of commitment and loss motivation

Equipping resource center for future training and honey processing

1. 5 sets of coverall and head veils procured for the resource center and demonstration sides

2. Resource center furnished with furniture (80 plastic chaires, 1 display table, 1 office. one desk and table, product show, rack and 10 wooden benches).

Furniture in use during a meeting with chiefs and elders of beneficiary communities in the Nanumba North District

3. One motor bike (TVS Max 100) with registration number NR-M-1038 plus crush helmet acquired for field work among the nine communities where the beekeeping is being executed. The motor bike is given one year comprehensive Insurance cover subject to yearly renewal

4. Three directional and promotional sign post procured for the two demonstration sites and the main resource center

5. Two still picture album produced as documentary for the bee project. Six more to be produced for the communities

Quality control

1. One refractometer acquired via Bee support Netherlands

2. Queen identification tool acquired for the resource center


1. Two trainings on resource and credit management for effective poverty reduction organized

2. One training organized for community beekeeping association leaders on group development, management and promoting quality hive management, preventing pre daters and improving solidarity among themselves as farmers

3. One day interaction meeting held with community chiefs and leaders on their role social and community development in relationship to the beekeeping project. This was aim at enhancing community ownership and sustainability of intervention. 14 chiefs and sub chiefs with 28 leaders attended.


Training 1: Honey harvesting and processing/value chain of bee wax and honey targeted for March 2011 at an estimated cost of Gh¢350

Training 2: Risk management, Quality control and marketing slated for Feb/ March 2011 at an estimated cost of Gh¢ 395.00

Training 3: Domestic and commercial use of Honey for nutrition and health improvement at a cost of Gh¢550 and targeted for March and April 2011

Material for future trainings and extension service: Developing a beekeeping extension manual, Trainers’ guide and Training wall charts including Picture laminates. This has been started but will be completed by March or April 2011 at an estimated cost of ¢840

Human resource for center operations: Recruiting of staff for Bee keeping resource center Allowances/ Salaries for recruited staff-field worker and center manager at an estimated of Gh¢3,240.00

Equipping of Resource center for honey processing

1. Acquisition of honey extraction plant at an estimated cost of Gh¢2,090

2. Acquisition of cross country motor bike Yamaha Max 125 at a cost of Gh¢4000

3. Acquisition of Bee wax extraction unit equipment and installation at Gh¢366.0


1. Continue field visits and group meetings at community level

2. Final Quarterly review meeting and beekeepers forum at Gh¢250

3. Commissioning of Resource center at an estimated cost of Gh¢630 and Targeted for April/May 2011

4. End of two-year project review, evaluation and reporting targeted for May/June 2011 and at estimated cost of Gh¢773

Note: To complete the phase, a total amount of Gh¢11,250 (the equivalent of about Euros 6000) is still required for the various activities listed above.

Note: To complete the phase, a total amount of Gh¢11,250 (the equivalent of about Euros 6000) is still required for the various activities listed above.

The Nanumba North district Assembly supported the phase in kind (five wooden electrical poles) worth Gh¢600 (Six hundred Ghana cedis) towards the drawing and connection of electricity to the center.

Prepared by Yakubu Iddrisu (Director CPYWD)