- January 16, 2024
- Posted by: webmaster
- Category: News
“The youth can” is a common slung used by Moreen Namanya the director of prime bees co. ltd, a beekeeping agro enterprise located in Bubare trading Centre, Rubanda district – Kigezi sub region Uganda. Before I enrolled in beekeeping, I always wondered which enterprise I can freely engage in that doesn’t need a lot of startup capital but also a project that can be done on a small portion of land given that Kigezi sub-region is prone to land fragmentation. In 2018, after a careful enterprise selection. I made up my mind to start beekeeping as an income generating enterprise. My greatest inspiration was learning that beekeeping can be done on a small portion of land regardless of its fertility. This venture requires less investment of about 15,000 Ugx for a traditional hive and it’s not time consuming compared to other agro enterprises. Using my savings, I managed to start beekeeping with 16 hives and with the help of my siblings, I established an apiary in a eucalyptus tree plantation. Within a period of 1 month, 10 of the hives were already colonized.
This venture requires less investment of about 15,000 Ugx for a traditional hive and it’s not time consuming compared to other agro enterprises.
This prompted me to seek for more knowledge in different beekeeping areas such as apiary management, harvesting and post-harvest handling. After five months, I managed to harvest 37kg of honey which I sold at a cost of 20,000 Ugx per kg. The returns on investment encouraged me to take up beekeeping as business. Currently, I have 30 Bee colonies which give me an average of 200kg of honey per harvest which when sold earns me approximately 5,000,000 Ugx. With the increase in harvests, I decided to start processing and packing my honey.
Achievements in the beekeeping.
Empowerment; personally, I have gained Self- employment and empowerment but also created employment for two more youth under my processing and packing unit.
The apiary has evolved from a mere site with hives to a formal company involved in production and processing of bee products (Prime Bees Ltd).
Business growth; I started with 37kg of harvest from my own farm which have since increased to over 200 kg. This combined with honey I out source, Prime Bees Ltd sales averagely 3 tons of honey a year.
When I started processing and packing, demand for my bee products went relatively higher than supply which prompted me to establish mini collection centres. These have greatly helped me to bulk out sourced honey from other beekeepers in Rubanda, Kabale, Rukiga and rukungiri districts.
Through beekeeping, I have managed to change the myths that beekeeping is an ancient venture for men and the elderly and as a result more youth within our village have picked up and joined the mantle.
Currently, I have 30 Bee colonies which give me an average of 200kg of honey per harvest which when sold earns me approximately 5,000,000 Ugx
Challenges I have experienced in beekeeping.
- Inadequate skills in value addition of other bee products like honey wine making and venom extraction
- Limited capital to stock enough honey during the season
- Lack machinery which makes work more hectic and costlier in terms of labor
- Seasonal weather changes that at times affect the general harvest.
In addition to honey, I intend to process more bee products such as jelly, bee venom honey mixture, honey wine etc. Prime Bees Ltd. also plans to grow its production and market base to the level of exporting. My greatest joy would be using beekeeping to empower others especially young women and the entire community
Advice to the youth
- Don’t fear to start up, write up your dreams into plans and actualize your plans into enterprises.
- Scan the environment with in your vicinity and be able to identify society need gaps.
- Have realistic entrepreneurial ideas that can be achieved with the few resources at hand. Find something you can do with in your means
- Lastly, Deuteronomy 15:10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
I thank TUNADO for the sensitization, motivation, empowerment and uniting Uganda under one umbrella. I can testify that for the one year I have been a member, I have benefited a lot and have no regrets. To all the Prime Bees stake holders, our suppliers, customers and every one, I greatly appreciate your sincere support.
Since my tender age, I have always admired beekeeping, at 31 years, my passion for bees has driven me from an admirer to a serious beekeeper and now a bee product processor. My love and passion for Bees is unstoppable.