Bee farmers embrace tree planting
As Mount Elgon Tree growing Enterprise (METGE) we are still on course with our goal of mitigating the effects of climate change through tree planting. We are also promoting beekeeping as an alternative income generating activity.
Many farmers among the communities in the Mount Elgon Sub-region, who have picked interest in planting trees have embraced beekeeping as a viable business.
Mr Stephen Mugusha the Forestry Officer Sironko District witnessing the distribution of tree seedlings to bee farmers.
A case in point are the beekeeping groups that have been undergoing training conducted by our beekeeping project officer in the districts of Sironko and Namisindwa. These groups received tree seedlings of tree species which included Calliandra, Maesopsis, Albezia, Musizi, African Mahogany, and Acrocarpus among others. Most of the tree species are forage for bees.
The beneficiary groups are Bumasifa Beekeepers, Bukama Beekeepers Group, Masele Beekeepers, Namisindwa Yetana Women Group and Bunesene Beekeeping Enterprise.
Bee farmers offload tree seedlings.
Bee farmers smoke the hive.
According to Mr. Rogers Wangoda the Chairperson Masaba Integrated Beekeeping Organisation, while they were interested in beekeeping; they lacked forage sites to practice beekeeping, especially on a large scale despite having large pieces of land.
“We asked for tree seedlings from METGE because they offer them freely to the farmers. These seedlings will play an important role in creating forage for practicing beekeepers”.
Upon receiving these seedlings, the farmers now say they have interest in planting trees. The challenge in the past has been limited resources to buy the seedlings.
“But since METGE is giving us high quality tree seedlings at no cost we cannot under look this opportunity but to get the seedlings and plant. We therefore call upon fellow beekeepers to plant trees’’.
The District Forestry Officer Sironko District Mr Stephen Mugusha, has applauded METGE for the great job of mobilizing and supporting communities to plant trees.
He says, “not only will the trees help in mitigating effects of climate change, but also help the bee farmers continue doing beekeeping’’.
Bee farmers receive tree seedlings.
He adds, they appreciate the efforts from partners like METGE for complementing the government's efforts by supporting communities through initiatives geared towards promoting environmental restoration for the good of humankind.
To Mr Simon Muduku Majenga, “We as bee farmers have got free tree seedlings and thus we hope to expand on our apiaries because of the availability of forage when the trees mature”.
Mr Godfrey Namisi says they are going to do beekeeping on a large scale because they will be able to site more beehives.
He adds that their relevant leaders should help them with exploring market opportunities to be able to sell their honey.