Boy Boy Mamba – Swaziland

Boy Boy Mamba – Swaziland

Date: June 30, 2015
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My name is Boy Boy Mamba and I am a pastor in Swaziland. I also organize trainings on bee-keeping for my church. When I started this project, it was aimed at empowering members of the community some of whom are OVC (Orphaned and Vulnerable Children), widows, the elderly and disabled people.

The Lowveld of Swaziland, where my project is found, has dry weather conditions. Bee-keeping turned out to be the most feasible business, as bees require very little water, yet they give so high financial and environmental returns. We started with the theory of bee-keeping, which was facilitated by LUSIP-GEF, and then we did practical lessons.

I have always thought that bee-keeping is a good practice because it contributes to alleviating the effects of climate change. The bees contribute to the conservation of indigenous forests through pollinating the trees. As bee-keepers we now understand the environment better, hence, we learn to preserve our natural forests. We get oxygen from trees, while we exchange carbon dioxide which makes it a win-win situation. What I like about this project is that women can also do bee keeping; it is not physically demanding.

After the training with LUSIP-GEF, I went home to share the little knowledge that I had gained with my wife. I then asked her to prepare food for the bees; it was a white sugar solution with a little bit of water, while I manufactured my own boxes, starting with a trap box and a bee hive.

It’s important for me to support this project because of the value that bees have. Bees bring about change; instead of planting trees they grow on their own. Since I started keeping bees, there has been a significant difference in the yields I am getting from my crops, because of cross pollination.

Many people do not believe that bees have a health benefit. For example if a bee stings you, your health improves. It’s good to have the poison in your system as long as you are not allergic to bees; that’s why the bee dies after stinging you. I think the best benefit from the bees is the honey that we sell to make money. It’s hard work, but in the end it is worth it to get that honey.

We have lots of challenges, like if there is a drought, there is less honey production, since bees depend on flowers, and if they don’t bloom, it can lead to a swarm absconding the hive for many various reasons which then means losing a box of honey. The tools required for the construction of the boxes are expensive and most of them are not readily available. The community we live in has a lot of thieves who steal and destroy the boxes for honey; in the process, we lose the honey, the boxes and the bees, but the biggest loss is that of our income.

There are many ways in which we want to expand the business, such as growing more sunflowers and making more boxes for the bees so that thee hives can expand. I want to be able to sell my bees to other people, especially big businesses that make honey.The bee business is really great for me because I am contributing to reducing climate change whilst my life at home has improved, such as my family’s health and standard of living.

We as farmers have learnt to conserve trees, which are a source of food for the bees, hence, the environment has been conserved. We have also made a point to support more woman to become involved in community initiatives such as these so that they generate income, which is good for economic empowerment.

So many people are now positive about life in our area because they are managing their small business activities, and we now live by a slogan that says “Honey-making is money-making.”


One thought on “Boy Boy Mamba – Swaziland”

Fikile says:

Hy, mine is not a comment but a question, How long does it take for the bees to be harvested and does it have a ready market in demand?

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