International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

Beekeeper farmers in Ethiopia receive training on the production of beehives using bamboo

26 May 2022

INBAR recently conducted a training for local beekeeper farmers in Ethiopia to produce beehives using bamboo. 

As part of its Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme – Phase II, INBAR recently conducted a training for local beekeeper farmers who live in and around Assosa town, Benishangul Gumez Regional State, Ethiopia, to produce beehives using bamboo. The training was conducted in collaboration with the Regional Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BoANR) and the Rural Technology, Duplication, Mechanization, and Expansion Agency.

Present at the training were 24 local beekeeper farmers who received hands-on training to use the locally available lowland bamboo as the major input for the production of the bamboo beehives. The production of bamboo beehives is simple and the trainee farmers were capable of quickly grasping the tools, equipment, and skills needed to construct the hives. The farmers stated that the training is useful because it helps them to construct beehives from locally available material – bamboo – and would save them money which they have been spending buying expensive hives made from imported Australian pine timber. According to the training costs, the estimated cost for a single bamboo beehive is below USD 20, which is way less expensive than the traditional timber hive.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Birehanu Iticha, regional director for the livestock, and fishery resource development directorate pointed out that mass production of modern beehives is increasingly getting expensive for honey producers in Ethiopia because timber importation needs hard currency. He went on to say that the training is very relevant and timely as it will arrest problems that the farmers have been faced with the traditional hives.

Mr. Bekele Anbesa, Vice head of BoANR, in his closing remarks, appreciated INBAR for supporting the region and told the trainees that they should provide feedback on the performance of newly introduced bamboo beehives for the bureau of agriculture to follow up and capitalise on the technology and quality of the product.

The trainees were given hand tools like knives, hand saws, and hammers to intensify the production of bamboo beehives at district and village levels. Besides, sample bamboo beehives were distributed to local district representatives with the intention of scaling up the product throughout parts of the region wherein honey is produced.

Due to the fact that Ethiopia is one of the top honey producer countries, there is a huge demand for beehives in the country. As such, bamboo beehives could be another major product made out of bamboo and bring about a number of opportunities in terms of job creation, livelihood improvement and development of the bamboo industry and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) value chains.

The Dutch-Sino East Africa Bamboo Development Programme – Phase II, currently being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda, strives to reach thousands of smallholders in developing SME value chains, restoration of bamboo resources, and enhancing bamboo business and trade environment.