The magic formula for an NGO to succeed is no secret: it must have dedicated and hardworking volunteers. On the 10th of October 2016 during one of Eli Africa’s Bee follow up, I came across three amazing individuals: Aniska the DRI (Directly responsible individual) of Beekeeping, Tashveen the DRI of Eli Forest and Mr Alain a Biology and agricultural teacher. The love and passion of those volunteers transpired into each of their actions. During these two hours, I was completely submerged by their world: the beekeeping world.
Breeding and managing bees is not an easy task; all these take much time and effort. This is why a weekly follow up is paramount.
So Tashveen, what do you and the other volunteers do during each follow ups?
1. We assess the health of bees.
2.We ensure that the bees have enough food to feed on.
3.We get rid of any foreign insect present in the beehive.
4.We verify the various activities of bees: number of eggs laid, amount of honey produced, etc.
At Eli Africa we raise bees because we believe they have an utmost importance in our ecosystem. Besides being capable of learning and teaching new skills just like humans, bees, also known as Apis Mellifera – which means honey carrying bee – help shape the environment around us. They provide honey which includes all the substances necessary to sustain life and they have antibacterial properties just as the propolis. Without bees to pollinate our flowers, the latter wouldn’t be able to produce seeds, hence food. Plants thus benefit from bees through their assistance in fertilization and propagation.
Aniska what do you find challenging in beekeeping?
Challenging.….. Well for me, what is the most challenging is that you never know what can happen next. Today the bees are here and the next day they might all be gone for various reasons. But in the end, we need to accept what nature desires. We cannot go against it.
And what is your secret to stay motivated?
My secret to stay motivated is my love for the bees and nature. Actually, I simply love what I am doing. That’s why I really put my heart in beekeeping.
Tashveen, what do you love about Beekeeping?
The unprecedented feeling of being close to mother nature…Witnessing extraordinarily beautiful events that you do not get to see every day, like the hatching of bee eggs…Observing the highly precise behaviour and movement of bees, for instance, their communication: they move in a specific pattern. The way they build their honeycomb is simply mind blowing.
In December 2015 we started our journey in Beekeeping. What was simply an idea of ours turned out to be an enriching experience. In the following months, several volunteers were trained by qualified professionals to acquire first-hand knowledge in beekeeping. In May 2016 we have attained one of our goals, which was to sell honey to volunteers, parents and relatives. That was the stepping stone of a wonderful adventure in the world of bees. At the end of May, we made another honey sale at Azuri Resort which was a great success; the clients were delighted with the quality of our organic honey.
At ELI Africa, we take pride in the outstanding quality of our honey, thanks to weekly follow ups conducted by our devoted volunteers.