| Hive thinking: Beekeeping makes a buzz in Ivory Flee

  • The artwork of beekeeping has unfold without warning in Assounvoue, in the heart of the realm’s top cocoa producer.
  • Farmers maintain started taking on honey-making to supplement their earnings. Pollination is additionally benefiting their cocoa harvests.
  • Beekeeping requires an funding – a hive goes for about 53 euros and the fundamental instruments and clothing requires 99 euros.

Night time has correct fallen in central Ivory Flee and the hour has come for 2 males, venturing forth in protective suits, veils and gloves, to clutch honey from their bees.

The artwork of beekeeping has unfold without warning in Assounvoue, in the heart of the realm’s top cocoa producer.

Farmers started taking on honey-making to supplement their earnings – and then additionally realised their most famous crops did better when pollinated by the bees. Note of the twin advantages unfold fleet.

“In West Africa, it is compulsory to harvest the honey at evening,” says French beekeeper Sebastien Gavini, co-director of a agency called Le Bon Miel de Cote d’Ivoire (The truthful honey of Ivory Flee).

“These bees are savage and aggressive – they don’t mean you could maybe accelerate. By working at evening, you don’t catch pursued by the bees, meaning we don’t save folks at risk.”

West African bees are “wilder and barely aged to contact with human beings,” Gavini explains.

He contrasts these characteristics with milder-natured European bees which maintain been kept for centuries – and sadly are in actuality threatened in a lot of areas by insecticides.

Double take

Approved beekeeping is handiest getting started in Africa, says Francois Silue, a member of the Ivorian Cooperative Company (SCI) at Katiola in the north, the source of the nation’s most extremely-regarded honey.

“Our accountability is to discontinue farmers from killing the bees, to alternate their culture,” explains Silue, who became skilled by Jap and German specialist lend a hand workers.

The SCI brings together about 50 beekeeping farmers.

Acquiring statistics on the beekeeping enterprise is subtle at national stage.

“There are handiest partial figures,” says Marcel Iritie, president of the Agricultural Platform of Ivory Flee.

The platform estimates that 30 tonnes of honey are produced per annum by about 100 contributors and loads of cooperatives.

“But that would not put in mind hundreds of dinky producers,” Iritie notes.

All or nearly all these folks maintain kept their same outdated roles as farmers, treating the production of honey as a secondary exercise.

“The farmer who goes into beekeeping wins twice over,” argues Mathieu Offi, who works alongside Gavini.

“Cash is earned from the honey and harvests are better as a result of of better pollination.”

Minimum funding

Whereas he offers coaching classes as one of the famous most skilled beekeepers in the nation, Offi additionally carries on with his work as a farmer shut to Kossou during the nation.

“Thanks to the bees, (cocoa) production could maybe merely even be multiplied by 1.6,” he adds.

“It be the bees who originate the total work!”

Offi and Gavini maintain save in their beehives all the plot in which thru a strictly organic market garden in Assounvoue in a successful marriage of cultures.

“Bees are adore humans, they thrive when the ambiance is correct,” Offi says. “With pesticides, they endure.”

“I could maybe like 5 more hives,” says Ahmed Yao, a farmhand who advantages every from the sale of market catch and earnings from honey.

Gavini and Offi maintain signed partnerships with agro-enterprise ventures producing bananas and other fruits.

“It be a take-take jam,” Gavini says, stressing the advantages of pollination and providing coaching for dinky farmers.

Gavini says a rather dinky funding is needed for bee maintaining.

“All in all, a hive funds 35 000 CFA francs (53 euros/$64). Add the clothing and some widespread instruments, and it is 65 000 CFA (99 euros) on the most. You catch the a reimbursement in the foremost year.”

‘Wonderful varieties’

The price of a kilogramme (2.2 kilos) of honey ranges from 3 000 to 10 000 francs (15 euros), while spinoff merchandise (bees’ wax, propolis varnish, major oils and even bee venom) additionally promote neatly.

“The taste of the honey is decided by what the bee has been foraging. Honey from right here is famed as a result of there are acacias and cashew nuts. It be candy,” says Edvige Brou Adoua, a saleswoman on the Katiola cooperative.

But, she insists, you could maybe repeatedly take straight from the outlet, not from a product hawked on the roadside. In the industrial capital Abidjan, it is not uncommon for avenue distributors to promote honey blended with water and sugar.

“Quality is a famous part,” concurs Sebastien Gavini.

“Now we maintain the correct fair correct fortune to maintain fantastic kinds of honey,” he says, reeling off a number of of the botanical treasures of the Ivory Flee, from coffee flowers, kapok and orange trees, to acacias and cashews.

“Every honey has a remark taste. Ivory Flee could maybe seriously change the realm’s leading honey producer. Now we maintain all it takes!”

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