The Centre will offer advice about apiculture best practice, resource management and beekeeping as a business, in one of the poorest regions of Ethiopia. Called Bees for Development Ethiopia, it will be governed as an independent organisation.
This development is the outcome of a new partnership between Trade Advance Ltd, a UK social entrepreneur who is committing funds, Mr. Tilahun Gebey, an Ethiopia apiculture and development specialist, and Bees for Development.
Despite the significance of the beekeeping sector in Ethiopia which is one of Africa's largest producers, beekeepers face many challenges. In a survey undertaken in Amhara in 2006 beekeepers ranked their two priority problems as shortage of bee forage and pesticide poisoning. Farmers also face barriers to understanding and meeting requirements for quality, quantity and consistency of supply of honey - making it hard for them to take advantage of new market opportunities.
BfD Ethiopia was registered as an Ethiopian charity on 30 May, 2012. The coming years will see the organisation establish its structures and processes, and begin to offer effective and relevant support to the beekeeping community in Amhara.
The Apiculture Centre of Excellence established a bee forest nursery in 2013.