In January 2018, 21 ZYCALA youth, of which 57% were female, took part in a bee-keeping training. Developing the capacity to ethically produce honey was scheduled early in the project as a way to generate income and long-term livelihood security for youth from Chitambo, Serenje and Mkushi districts.
- To introduce the practice of bee-keeping to ZYCALA youth
- To equip ZYCALA youth with basic knowledge in bee-keeping, management, honey harvesting and processing and for them to act as front runners in their individual districts
- To teach the youths acceptable and ethical methods of bee-keeping to create a productive honey enterprise
The training was conducted by bee-keeping expert Mr Chansa Chansa, who took participants through the various stages of honey production in four days.
The training began with an explanation of bee-keeping as an important enterprise for both sustainable livelihoods and agricultural conservation. The young people discussed the symbiotic relationship between plants and insects, and the importance of trees and plants as providers of pollen and nectar for bees. They recognised honey bees as drivers of regenerative agriculture in their role as cross pollinators and identified types of trees which can support bee-keeping with their respective flowering seasons.
Participants then looked at different types of hives and the singular role of bees within a colony. Practical demonstrations were given on prudent methods of honey harvesting and how to turn the honey into different products such as wax and honey. Furthermore, participants identified water and the proximity of human settlement as elements conducive to providing resilient environments for bees.
To ensure bee-keeping continues to thrive and expand, participants will be given start-up hives and carpentry training. They can then start making their own hives and use the initial hives as demonstration colonies.
Through the bee-keeping enterprise, it is expected that ZYCALA youth will be able to produce sufficient honey for local and international markets, creating self-sustaining revenue and livelihoods for many more families and communities.