Beekeeper, Bandson Tembo
Bandson is an experienced and growing African beekeeper with more than 35 beehives. He makes his own beehives and sells hundreds of litters of honey each year.
Below is a video of the time Jacana started to work with Banson.
Expert Frank Leenen
Frank graduated as a tropical agronomist in Deventer, the Netherlands and has gained broad experience in various Latin American and African countries. Frank is proficient at assessing and describing opportunities in the area of rural development based on sustainable agricultural systems. Bee keeping for the production of honey, other hive products and pollination services, is his specific expertise.
We stopped adding monitoring data after October 2018 but he is still using the skills he learned from Jacana.
On the Saturday 6 October the third beekeepers meeting was held. Bandson, Mary Phiri, Bridget Mulenga and Krispin Daka attended the meeting. Together they talked about their successes, challenges and way forward. A good thing is that they all tried to harvest the honey by themselves. It is not an easy work with the aggressive African bee, but they managed. Some of the challenges:
- They do not have proper working suits.
- Some of them do not have a press to press the honey. It is very time consuming harvesting without a press.
- There was not enough honey for the customers they have at this moment.
- It is difficult for them to make a floral calendar.
The group sees more potential when they start working together. One is a good beekeeper, another one is a good sales person and another can make hives or press machine. Agreed is that Bridget and Dinie from Jacana will prepare next time meeting and discuss what the possibilities are to form a business group. This meeting will be end November or beginning December.
Half June up to end of June it is time to harvest the honey in Eastern Province. The five beekeepers trained by Frank came together for the second time. They wanted to learn how to harvest the honey. Mr. Daka invited an experienced beekeeper to harvest together with him. Mr. Bandson brought a bucket of his honey. It is a beautiful product.
As agreed in the training with Frank Leenen, the participants meet once per 2 months. On the first of May four of the five participants met at Mr. Bandsons Tembo place to discuss about the progress made and see the bee business of Mr. Tembo. During the meeting the participants were sharing their experiences and challenges with each other and discussed about a flora calendar.
Next time they will meet at Mr. Krispin Daka’s place and together they will practice how to harvest honey. They will use protective clothes and the smoker. Mr. Bandson will teach how to harvest.
Mr. Bandson is one of the five beekeepers in Chipata, Jacana is guiding. Jacana arranged a PUM expert from the Netherlands to train and guide these five entrepreneurs in expanding their beekeeping activities
First of all Frank from the Netherlands visited Mr. Bandson’s farm to see how he is managing the beehives. Mr. Bandson has 35 beehives and he wants to know more about beekeeping.
After the visit Frank trained the five beekeepers in the basics of beekeeping. Know your farm animal (bee colony), protect yourself against the bees (bee suit and smoker), plan your activities. After the training the five beekeepers decided to meet each other every two months to do some assignments Frank gave them.
Mr. Bandson, Mr. Chrispin and Mr. Benedicto had a skype meeting with Frank Leenen. Frank is a bee-expert from the Netherlands. Frank comes in March and he likes to know the bee-keepers from Chipata before he arrives in Zambia. The three bee-keepers (2 were not present) told about there beekeeping businesses and the challenges they face.
Because we have good hope that the few remaining coins will be donated soon, the drillers already made a pump for Bandson:
Hastings Mbewe and Steven Zulu had to work during the night to complete the pump installation at beekeeper Bandson Tembo. Reason for that was that one of the pipes had a slightly different dimension and had to be changed in town. But in the end everybody was happy and there was a lot of clean water. George Chulu made the pump.
Bandson enjoyed the three day business training. He focussed writing his business plan completely on the bee-market.
This is part of a bigger project, sponsored by Aqua for All.
Besides that Jacana is still guiding him in the beekeeping business.