BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes
SUSTAINABLE beekeeping and honey farming has helped people in North-Western Province to practice sustainable forest management.
Nature’s Nectar, a North Western Province-based sustainable honey company Field Supervisor, Davies Ilunga, said sustainable beekeeping and honey farming was an incentive that helped people in the area to do sustainable forest management.
Mr Ilunga explained that the method of sustainable honey farming being practiced by Nature’s Nectar involved replacing hives made from stripped tree bark, which gradually killed the tree with beehives.
He said this in an interview with Mining for Zambia Magazine.
“This beekeeping method protects the flowering trees that are essential for attracting bees, which would otherwise die from being barked.
“It also enables farmers to produce a higher quality honey that meets international standards for export,” Mr Ilunga said.
Nature’s Nectar, he said, was the sole buyer of all honey produced in the top bee hives that they provided to farmers.
Mr Ilunga said the Trident Foundation at First Quantum Minerals (FQM) provided the capital for the company’s first 7000 hives to facilitate the creation of a sustainable livelihood for locals.
“The community is gaining income that can help them pay school fees for their children. In this way, Nature’s Nectar and its partner, FQM, are reducing poverty in the rural communities of Zambia, because not everyone has access to an income from the mines,” he said.
Mr Ilunga explained that his company was encouraging beekeepers and honey farmers to protect their local forests.
The company, he said, weighed people’s honey, and that the farmers got paid immediately.
Mr Ilunga said honey farming was one of the most important sources of income in rural areas of Zambia where employment was not high.
“People have seen the good production levels and have seen that sustainable honey farming can help them to get an income for much longer than going in the bush to look for wild honey in the trees and ant nests,” he said.