Sweet Success for Beekeeping in the Himalayas
By Nima Sherpa
Okhreni village lies in one of the biggest district of Nepal known as Sindhupalchok District. After meeting with villagers there, Aythos learned they were interested in beekeeping. According to the villagers, they didn’t have any project in the village before, so they were very excited about having one in Okhreni.
In September 2013 Aythos organized the first beekeeping training in Okhreni village. The trainer, Mr. Ram Kumar Danuwar provided training to 20 villagers. Villagers had many challenges to beekeeping in the past, such as protecting the hives from wild animals and rainfall. Okhreni is Buddhist village, so people don’t want to kill bees for the honey. Our trainer showed modern hives to the villagers where the bees were better protected than in traditional hives. After the training the villagers were very happy and grateful to Aythos for providing such opportunity. Villagers said they learned a lot from the training and they were sure that it would be very useful for them in the future. Villagers also mention people have been migrating to city and overseas for job opportunities. They think this kind of project can bring positive message among people that they can make better life being in the village. They think beekeeping can help their families financially if they turn it into a business. Villagers believe if the project provides training and financially support than that might improve the living standard of the villagers.
In February 2014 Aythos distributed 10 hives with bees and equipment to Okhreni villagers. The villagers paid half of the amount for the hives and equipment for the beekeeping project. Aythos negotiated with a local project management committee to provide them with the hives and the bees to go with them. By working with the committee, Aythos encourages the villagers to make their own decisions about what is best for the project. The villagers were very happy after receiving the hives.
One month after the hive distribution, the Aythos field manager and trainer went to Okhreni village to check on the hives. During that time, the villagers were able to have their questions answered as Mr Ram Krishna Danuwar went through each and every hive. He also showed villagers local bees can be placed in modern hives. Villagers were more encouraged by learning how to solve some of the challenges they faced in the past.
Aythos is getting many project proposals from the villages throughout Nepal. Recently, Nima, went to see those villages that send the proposal. She visited a village named Odhare, a small village that was poorer than its neighbors. However, Odhare is also one of the villages which has good potential for beekeeping. They had old, traditional hives in the wall of the house, and Nima was able to inform them of Aythos’s project in Okhreni, as well as for the possibility for them to use modern hives to increase their productivity and earn more money for their village. Excited by this opportunity, villagers promised to discuss the issue and contact Aythos about the possibility to host the project in their village.
In the meantime we are preparing for the fruit tree training in Dolakha district which will be one of the biggest training so far for Aythos conducting training for four villages at once. This will be the first training for these villages and will teach them how to plant and take care of fruit trees. Villagers said they are very excited and can’t wait to be at the training. We are expecting more than 40 villagers at the training let’s see how it goes! Keep an eye out for photos on our Facebook page and our next blog.