Amount of grant approved (£) : 2,996 (50% TDT)

Year of grant : 2021

The Mwagizo Beekeeping Group based in Mwamgongo village on Lake Tanganyika, was formed six years ago to generate additional income for its 20 members (9 men, 11 women). The group owns 15 rudimentary hives and applied for a grant from TDT so that they could expand and improve their beekeeping practices, therefore improving their income whilst at the same time conserving the natural resources around their village.

They plan to increase their honey and beeswax production and thus income by increasing the number and improving the quality of hives they own, by adopting more sustainable beekeeping practices, and by developing new links to markets. The project will act as a demonstration to others in the village and surrounding villages and will promote the use of softwood from plantations to build modern Tanzanian Topbar hives rather than the traditionally used wild hardwood from surrounding forests. The greater number of bees in the area will provide increased pollination services for all farmers.

This grant is being co-funded by TDT and Bees Abroad, a specialist beekeeping charity which has been operating in Africa for 21 years. The project will work with local carpenters and tailors to make hives and beesuits, will secure other tools and equipment from local suppliers, and will ensure ongoing training and mentoring of the Mwagizo Group over a three year period.

In January the first field visit was undertaken by the local Bees Abroad and TDT reps to commence training and to work with a local carpenter to make the hives and a tailor to supply the beesuits. 24 Tanzanian Topbar hives have now been made and 8 beesuits. Training sessions covering the different species of Tanzanian bees, pros and cons of different types of beehives, siting of an apiary etc were held and two apiary sites chosen. The group is now moving the hives into place and the next field visit and training session is currently being planned.