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May 21st,2010 

As of today we have 300 hives in the field and the hives of Zangue, Santove and Mutondo have had occupations of over 80%, however the hives of Guma is only about a 20%. Reason for the low occupation of the latter is not known. James White, our project manager, says that the very unusual drought following early rains in 2009 has put the normal behavior out of kilt. Please click here for a rain chart for Catapu through February 2010. We plan to have the first big harvest in November and December 2010, then a 2nd harvest in March and April 2011. Thereafter harvesting will be done twice a year. 

Watch this space for details about the extraction training, which is phase three of the project.  

Meanwhile the Mozambican Honey Company has been awarded by NATURE CHALLENGE and will participate in a great donor-conference in the Hague on the second of June.

Apiculture

Honey has always been a part of rural life in Africa, but in recent times the drive to produce commercial quantities of honey has taken its toll on the environment. Traditionally honey is gathered from natural hives in trees in the forest. This can result in damage as trees are felled to access the natural hives, or as accidental fires are started in an attempt to smoke out bees. Bee-keeping is also practiced locally and hives are made from bark. This also causes damage as trees are ring-barked to provide the bark for the hive. Because the bark is the route through which trees transport water and minerals to their leaves, ring-barking kills trees.

In response to the need to help local families to obtain honey, while at the same time protecting the forest and the bees, TCT Dalmann began providing a program of education and training in bee-keeping supported by ongoing technical and field extension support in 2005. The program combines simple, low-cost, modern bee-keeping practice with environmental protection to enable local families not only to produce good quality honey for their own consumption, but also for sale, thus contributing to household income.

This project has been expanded with the help of WWF since 2009. The WWF program is a two year project involving the training of 35 farmers through all the stages demanded in establishing 350 Kenyan Top Bar hives in the field. In year one TCT Dalmann trained all the farmers through stages 1 to 3 and supplied 250 KTB hives. During the next phase during 2010 TCT Dalmann will supply and supervise the field mounting of the outstanding 100 hives and also do the stage 4 training, which is the extraction and filtration of honey. Phase 5 training is a combined community and TCT endeavor to establish a brand, and a market. This phase envisions an export market for Mozambican bee products, including possible future sales of bee swarms to replace the colonies lost as a result of the bee crisis in SA and Europe.