Train the trainer
Thanks to a donation from Transform International Canada, Jacana was able to develop a train the trainer course for beekeepers. With this new training we guide people who mostly “hunt” honey to professional beekeepers who can earn their living sustainably with it. The course focuses on keeping bees and also deals with entrepreneurship and its financial aspects. Next to theory most of the time the participants will be practically trained in the field.
The training was given by Frank Leenen (PUM Nederlands senior experts) in the first week of February. He has trained four future local trainers. Frank has given a lot of background information about keeping the African “Scutellata bee”. The new trainers have received a lot of valuable information that they can transfer to the beekeepers. In addition to theory, much attention has also been paid to practice. Every day the trainers went under guidance of Frank to the field to learn from and work with the bees. They paid attention to the quality of the hives, how to open a hive, bee brood, new brood in new hives, but not to forget, how to deal with traditional hives.
Many of the future beekeepers still work with traditional hives made from the bark of a tree. However, it is very difficult to harvest clean honey from these traditional hives and, moreover, there is a good chance that a large number of bees will die, because fire is often used to harvest the honey. That is why the emphasis in the training will be on working with top bar hives. These hives are easy to maintain for beginners and the honey can easily be harvested without killing the bee population. Every trained beekeeper receives a partially sponsored top bar hive, protective clothing and a smoker, all of which are now locally produced.
Traditional bee hive
Top bar hive
Pious Nyirongo, Jacana trainer, will train the group early March in business and financial skills. The trainers learn how to use the Lean Canvas model to make future beekeepers think about their expansion plans in beekeeping and what is needed for that. They will also calculate the cost price for 1 kg of pure honey. Among other things, this will determine their future selling price. Finally, they learn a simple accounting system to keep the income and expenses organized and to calculate the profit.
All new beekeepers to be trained are currently carefully selected by Jacana and they must have at least two years of experience in keeping bees and have the motivation to expand.
In April, the four trainers, in pairs, will provide the beekeeping training for groups of each ten beekeepers. In addition to the theory, they will also provide practical lessons in the field.
Together with Frank, Jacana has developed a manual for trainers and a basic course for beekeepers. They can be obtained for free later this year via the website.
Frank thank you for training the trainers. Jacana is happy that beekeepers can now be supported by local trainers.
Moses Nyirenda, Frank Leenen, Pious Nyirongo, Keepson Chirwa and Collins Musonda