What we do
Take a moment and read briefly about our projects. Since 2015, we have developed and implemented a number of lives changing projects.
We are dedicated to serving and developing beekeeping sector in Ghana to generate employment and to provide pollination services for crops and natural environments.
Beekeepers Restore Forests
Using Nature-Based Beekeeping Restore Forests
The aim of the project is to create thriving rural communities across the Afram Plains where women and men earn stable incomes by safeguarding and restoring biodiversity in forested landscapes and sustainably managing native honey bee populations. The project hopes to assist beekeepers in Afram Plains to grow trees and prevent perennial and indiscriminate bushfires in the area in order to improve the nectar sources for honey bees. This will eventually lead to sustainable livelihoods, less reliance on charcoal trade, reversal of forest degradation, and regrowth of scarce tree species. As part of this project, BfDG is collaborating with the Ghana National Fire Services to train beekeepers on wildfire response and fire management across at least 20 communities in Afram Plains. Wildfire [bushfire] is a perennial phenomenon in the Afram Plains and has destroyed many properties [farms and forests] over the years. Beekeepers are expected to plant and protect the diverse selection of indigenous trees with an economic value around their apiaries, on their farmlands, on land granted for this purpose by traditional authorities, in buffer zones between communities and forest/wildlife reserves, and on reserves – working closely with the Forestry Commission of Ghana. It is also expected that people understand the negative impact of charcoal production on honey production and the advantages of beekeeping as a sustainable livelihood activity. Speaking during the launch of the project, the District Manager of the Forestry Services Division of the Forestry Commission said Ghana has lost a substantial amount of her forested areas due to anthropogenic factors. He said Ghana used to have over 10 million hectares of land under forests, but the country currently has less than one million hectares of forested land.
The project is funded by the UK Government through the Darwin Initiative
Beekeeping as a Pathway to Prosperity
Promoting sustainable beekeeping to alleviate poverty in Nkoranza North
The aim of the project is to promote sustainable beekeeping in the Nkoranza North District of the cashew zone. The project seeks to address the challenge of lower incomes of people in the area because of low honey production due to poor apiary management through refresher training, and also provide a marketing linkage between beekeepers and buyers. Initial interaction with the beekeepers in the two communities reveals that they lack adequate knowledge and other resources for sustainable beekeeping. For instance, Thomas Amponsah, a beekeeper, indicated that they do not know how to manage apiaries properly especially pest control – ants are causing serious absconding of bees in the area. In addition, they also have a ‘serious’ challenge [as described by the beekeepers] with marketing of bee products in the area. Thomas said “I have 3 jelly cans [25 L Kufour gallon] and 4 of the 4.5 L gallons since March 2022 but I haven’t been able to sell them. I also have some beeswax.” Again, the beekeepers there seem not to be aware of the importance of bee-cashew integration and so they are not adequately benefiting from the pollination activities of the bees. Checks revealed that they have established their apiaries far away from their cashew farms/orchards. The intervention encourages beekeepers/cashew farmers to introduce honeybee colonies into their cashew orchards to increase pollinator populations on their farms. Also, the project promotes the use of Oecophylla longinoda as a biological control agent for cashew pests. Farmers will avoid the use of agro-pesticides since this [use of Oecophylla longinoda] is an environmentally friendly pest control method. The bee population in the area will be protected. The integrated systems approach is important to enable cashew farmers in the area to have secured, multiple and higher incomes from their farms to improve their livelihoods.
Buzz Club Ghana
Basic School Children learn about bees and beekeeping
Buzz Club Ghana, our maiden project, offers the opportunity for basic school children to learn about bees and other pollinators, the role of bees in food production, and biodiversity conservation. The children also learn the art of beekeeping as well as develop their entrepreneurial skills at this young stage. The initial objective of teaching beekeeping to children within primary and junior high schools to enable them to earn money to facilitate secondary school education has since changed due to the free senior high school policy in Ghana introduced in 2017. The clubs have since shifted from honey production to focus on learning about bees, beekeeping, and the environment. We started with two schools but expanded to ten schools in 2022. About 400 school children have directly benefited from this project. Sixty (60) children have since graduated from the clubs. The project has since trained 15 basic teachers who are applying their skills and knowledge to earn additional income from active beekeeping aside their salaries.
Cashew, Bees and Livelihood project
Integration of beekeeping and cashew production for double benefits
Cashew, Bees, and Livelihood project aimed at improving the livelihoods of cashew farmers through the integration of beekeeping and cashew production in the cashew zone of Ghana. This project supported cashew farmers in and around Techiman, Kintampo, Nkoranza, Offuman, Wenchi, Nsawkaw, and Bono Manso to introduce bees into their cashew farms. Cashew farmers get double benefits from this. First, they get increased cashew nut yield through the pollinating activities of honey bees. Second, they earn additional income from selling hive products such as honey and beeswax. The project also supported and trained six young people to become Master Beekeepers who work with about 30 farmers each. These young people have, since 2017, worked hard to establish their beekeeping enterprises in their respective communities. Over 200 cashew farmers have directly benefited from the project with over 500 indirect beneficiaries.
Citrus, bees and livelihood project
Sustainable beekeeping: Alternative income for citrus growers to improve their livelihoods
One of the most important fruit crops grown by rural people in southern Ghana is citrus, mainly oranges, lime, and lemon. Thousands of people who had their livelihoods depended on the crop have, for over a decade, abandoned their plantations. This is due to issues with the marketing of the fruits due to the collapse of all processing factories in the area bringing untold economic hardships to many families whose livelihoods depended on the citrus crop. The Citrus, bees, and livelihood project offered farmers the opportunity to earn an alternative income by taking advantage of the citrus plants’ potential for honey production. The aim of the project is to help farmers in the area improve their farm incomes through sustainable beekeeping. Ten communities and 100 people have directly benefited from the project.
Promoting sustainable beekeeping to alleviate deprivation and poverty
People living on the fringes of Digya National Park have access to rich natural resources, especially honey bees and forests. There are already established trade pathways for honey, people are familiar with bees, and the area is suitable for beekeeping. Honey hunters expressed huge interest in beekeeping but lack knowledge, experience, and means to begin – no tradition of using beehives in the area. This Project aims to turn honey hunters into beekeepers and to generate new revenues in order to improve their livelihoods. We are teaching people how to make simple, fixed-comb beehives, manage the bees and harvest the honey which several communities in Afram Plains have welcomed. So far 620 people are keeping bees in over 20 communities. Over 4265 fixed-comb hives have been built and over 2503 established colonies. This project is a self-sustainable one that offers practical training in beekeeping skills and as an income generation activity for its beneficiaries.
Honey and Beeswax Trade Centre
Trading quality honey and beeswax
After training over 1000 people across Afram Plains with over 2000 colonies, we anticipated beekeepers will struggle to sell the tonnes of honey that will be harvested every year. We then set out to establish a social enterprise to trade in honey and beeswax produced by the hundreds of beekeepers in the area. The processing centre in Donkorkrom collects and extracts the purest honey and beeswax from fresh honeycomb straight out of beekeepers’ hives. Each batch of honey and beeswax we process is fully traceable back to the beekeepers, thanks to our innovative digital supply chain management system. There are well-trained Honey Collection Coordinators (HCC) in various communities who help in distributing buckets to beekeepers and receive honey buckets from beekeepers on our behalf.
Accra City Bees Project
Developing a vibrant city beekeeping systems
The abundant beekeeping resources made up of ornamental trees and other flowering natural vegetation of the landscapes of Accra City remain untapped. In collaboration with the British High Commission Accra, appropriate and sustainable beekeeping systems are being developed in the city to turn the nectar, pollen, and other resources used by bees into viable production of honey, beeswax, and other products. The project aims at conserving the bee populations in Accra. Suitable nesting sites and apiaries are being established at places that avoid conflicts between bees and people. Again, developing vibrant city beekeeping systems to offer profitable production opportunities to interested operators. Honey, beeswax, and other bee products are produced in the city for sale. It also hopes to establish a vibrant group of beekeepers who will be empowered with knowledge, skills, and logistics to rescue, protect and relocate stressed bee colonies and swarms in the city.
Masanga Hospital Bee Project
Production and Use of Quality Honey for Wound/Ulcer Treatment
The Masanga Hospital in the Tongolili District of the Republic of Sierra Leone has a long history of effective treatment of wounds and ulcers with honey. Patients from all over the country and neighbouring West African countries such as Guinea, Liberia, and the Gambia have received treatment from the hospital. The major challenge facing Masanga Hospital has been the unavailability of quality honey for the over 500 patients who visit the clinic every year. According to Dr Jonathan Van Nunes, the Medical officer in Charge of the hospital, the only source of honey comes from local wild honey hunters. These hunters fell down trees and burn bee colonies to extract honey under unhygienic conditions. Though the quality of honey from the hunters was questionable, the hospital has no alternative sources. In July 2019, MoU was signed between BfDG and the hospital to support the production of quality honey for wound dressing. The aim of the Project was to train some selected staff members and farmers from five adjourning villages to keep bees to produce quality honey for the Wound Clinic. Masanga Hospital has successfully harvested honey from the hives established for the Clinic.
Women Professional Beekeeping Trainer Programme
Addressing gender disparity in beekeeping
The programme seeks to address the gender imbalance in the beekeeping sector in Ghana – both in terms of practicing beekeeping at household level and those who are in positions as trainers, leaders and change agents within the sector. We have been working in the beekeeping sector for many years. Despite some notable and impressive exceptions, where some women are playing active roles, our recent gender review revealed that we are reaching fewer women than men, and women are earning less than men. This finding, coupled with evidence that more women live in deeper poverty, than men, in Ghana – obliges us to invest new efforts in bringing the benefits of beekeeping to women. We hope to build long term capacity and set the foundation for transformational change across the sector – now and into the future. This programme takes an innovative approach to address gender disparity by providing intense investment in a small cohort of women, enabling them to become professional beekeepers and change agents. They will become women entrepreneurs, advocates, and trainers serving the wider apiculture sector in Ghana. They will appreciate barriers to women’s participation in beekeeping and strategies to overcome those barriers. Be familiar with different approaches to development and have a basic grasp of how to develop a Theory of Change for a development project.