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Sustainable beekeeping for resilient livelihoods

Making a difference worldwide

What we do

Appropriate technology

Top-bar hives are movable comb hives with all the technical advantages of frame-hives (sometimes called modern hives in Ethiopia) but have additional economic and social advantages:

  • Beekeepers can make their own from locally available materials - this means they can upscale their beekeeping activities without waiting for further donor support
  • No need for associated expensive inputs such as foundation sheets and extractors
  • Low cost - using top-bar hives, the same budget can reach eight times for more farmers than with frame hives

"We now promote only top-bar hives in Bahir Dar - the uptake from farmers is better than with frame hives and so the impact is greater", Solomon, Beekeeping expert, Bahir Dar Zuria Agriculture Office.

We recognise that local-style basket hives are successfully used and suitable in most parts of Amhara and offer top-bar hive technology training only where appropriate. 

Skills training for men, women and youth

We provide in-depth training for farmers through a seasonal programme of three modules of training in year 1. We make sure new beekeepers have access to follow-up and refresher training in year 2. We train Development Agents where necessary so they have the capacity to provide on-going support to beekeepers in their working areas. This ensures new beekeepers always get the technical help they need.

“My neighbour has seen how I have benefitted and they have asked me to train them. I am willing to do that - I can now do everything on my own and even train others”, Getahm in Wonjeta.

Bee-friendly land use management

Bees use the nectar from trees to produce honey - thus giving communities an added economic reason to plant, manage and conserve trees in farmland and the wider landscape. We;

  • Work with communities to invest in rehabilitation of degraded land
  • Train farmers to raise fruit trees which give nectar and fruit - bees increase yields through pollination
  • Create awareness about the dangers of agrochemicals and their impact on bees

“I was trained on how to graft improved mango. The trees will give me fruit to sell and my bees will collect nectar from the flowers and make honey”. New beekeeper in Dera

email us: or call us: +251 (0) 918761182

Bees for Development Trust is the working title of The Troy Trust, Registered Charity 1078803
Registered Address: 1 Agincourt Street, Monmouth, NP25 3DZ, UK
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