Mpimbwe Beekeeping Network

Emmanuel Stephen with the Mirumba Beekeeping Group during hand over of the beekeeping materials.

Emmanuel Stephen with the Mirumba Beekeeping Group during hand over of the beekeeping materials.

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Beekeeping is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty and environmental degradation. LCMO together with Nomad Tanzania support a network of 25 beekeepers with training and equipment.

Mpimbwe Wildlife Management Area is recognized as an important protected area, particularly as a buffer between Katavi National Park and villages in the south. Yet this is one of the community conserved areas with major impacts due to the multiple activities occurring in the area ranging from the extraction of timber, farming and illegal livestock herding. Today this important area is rapidly being transformed. The unsustainable use of the land is annually leading to further deforestation and the loss of wild animals and plants is obvious.

As a result, LCMO together with Nomad Tanzania launched an initiative to institute a beekeeping program with a network of 25 farmers around this WMA. The primary objective is to develop an economic alternative whilst reducing the land degradation in the WMA.

This network receive support from LCMO and Nomad through: training on all aspects of beekeeping such as materials and equipment used in beekeeping, establishment of an apiary, inspection and revision of beehives, best plants for bees, management of pest and diseases, feeding bees, honey harvesting, processing and grading honey, processing of wax, packaging, record keeping and marketing.

Beekeeping is a suitable practice for Mpimbwe due to its geographical location; the area is surrounded by Miombo woodland which are invaluable forage areas for bees, the existing history, tradition and culture of beekeeping.

Through promoting beekeeping, we are helping local farmers diversify their income, saving the dwindling bee population and promoting nature conservation. Locals farmers are willingly setting aside part of their forested areas for beekeeping. These conserved areas also provide firewood for the family hence reducing reliance of dwindling resources from Mpimbwe WMA.

LCMO also train farmers on how to use beehive fences (Watu Nyuki na Tembo) to protect their farm crops from elephants. Human elephant conflict is a major problem in most villages that borders Mpimbwe WMA.