Rubanda beekeepers call for government support

By APN Reporter

Bee keepers in Kabere parish and Muko sub-county’s Rubanda district have asked the government to support them with modern beehives and beekeeping protective gear in order to boost their business.

They revealed this Thursday at Nyakatooma Church of Uganda during a meeting to evaluate community groups who have been equipped with different skills under the “Striking a Balance: Developing a Green Economy Around Lake Bunyonyi Basin” project.

The project that is phasing out this year has been implemented by Self-Help Africa and the African International Christian Ministry (AICM), partnering with Kabale and Rubanda Districts’ local governments with support from Irish Aid.

The Chairperson of Nyakatooma Bee Keepers Group, Boniface Bukiriro, and a model beekeeper with an apiary of 100 beehives, Levicato Tukamushaba, said that one modern beehive costs about 90,000 shillings in Kabale town, which is costly for them to buy many beehives to boost the business.

They also stated that the cost of beekeeping protective gear exceeds 200,000 shillings, which discourages others from entering the industry.Bukiriro and Tukamushaba request the government offer those modern beehives and the protective gear so as to boost the business and encourage other members to join. They say that modern hives attract bees more than local hives.

Speaking during the meeting, the Rubanda district senior entomologist, Rose Kyabato, said that the district leadership has already promised to procure a combined carpentry machine that will be put at the district headquarters to manufacture modern beehives, which will be given to the willing beekeepers at very subsidized rates.

He did, however, encourage other beekeepers in the district to register with the entomologist’s office, which will help them obtain beekeeping protective gear at a lower cost from the Uganda National Apiculture Development Organization.

The Executive Director of AICM, Denis Mucunguzi, said that the objective of the training for these local beekeepers was to help them acquire relevant knowledge in modern beekeeping techniques, specifically beehive setup and maintenance, caring for bees and beehives, apiary management, and honey harvesting and storing techniques.