Beekeeper, Chrispin Daka
Chrispin Daka owns a farm near Msekera research centre. He keeps few livestock and grows field crops for commercial purposes. He is expanding his honey business. He invested in a borehole and shares the water with his community for free. The business pays for maintenance.
Below is a video taken when Jacana started to work with Chrispin.
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.
A meeting of 11 beekeepers was held at Jacana office. Crispin is one of the. The group decided to start a co-operative. The group agreed on the name Eastern Manual Beekepers Co-operative. The goal of this co-operative is to create a space where they can press the honey in a hygienic way and where they can keep the wax for selling later. The group can support each other in marketing their product.
Frank Leenen from PUM Netherlands came for the second time to train the group of beekeepers. Crispin attended the second day where Frank explained about how to harvestthe honey and wax and Jacana educated them on the business component.
Frank went to the farm of Crispin to see what challenges the beekeepers still have and teach them how to harvest the honey.
On the Saturday 6 October the third beekeepers meeting was held. Krispin, Mary Phiri, Bandson Tembo and Bridget Mulenga 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 until end of June is harvesting time of honey in Eastern Province. The group of five people decided to meet each other at Mr. Daka’s house to harvest one of his hives. Mr. Daka together with an experienced beekeeper harvested one hive.
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.
Unfortunately Mr. Chrispin could not attend the training given by Frank Leenen, PUM Bee-expert. That is why one of the participants updated him on the content of the training. Together they went through the power point presentation from Frank and practiced how to use the smoker and the bee-suits.
Mr. Chrispin 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. Chrispin’s farm to see how he is managing the beehives. Mr. Chrispin has 5 beehives and he wants to know more about beekeeping.
Mr. Chrispin, Mr. Bandson 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.
Michael Soko, Edward Tembo and Moses Banda drilled a borehole at beekeeper Chrispin Daka. The first attempt failed, but the team did not give up and the second attempt was successful. They even made a ground water recharge system next to the borehole. The pump was made by welder George Chulu.
Having more honey beehives doesn’t cost much compared to having a borehole. In this business water is critical because live stock and bees require water. For that reason, he is very happy with his pump.
Crispin focussed in the business training on expanding in the honey business.
This is part of a bigger project, sponsored by Aqua for All.
So he can:
- Expand his honey business.
- Manage his financial books proficiently.
- Provide education for his children.