Monday, February 7, 2011

Beekeeping Update from Haiti

This update on the beekeeping project in Haiti comes from our Farmer to Farmer Field Staff. They wished to share a few photos and information with previous FTF-Haiti volunteers and blog readers.
Inspection of modern hive
Our Haiti coordinator was quick to point out that in this photo above, you have several people working in the hive but none have any protective gear. Still, they are working with confidence in the hive. Fear of bees is an obstacle to many would-be beekeepers in Haiti, and some people who keep bees remain afraid of them. Farmer to Farmer volunteers provide training in improving hive management skills, resulting in better beekeepers and less aggressive behavior in bee colonies.
Top bar heavy with honey
Some Haitian beekeepers have begun to experiment with the Kenya Top Bar Hive, or Long Hive, over the past few years. This type of hive is cheaper and easier to construct locally compared to modern Langstroth-type hive. Several beekeepers now have a KTBH alongside their modern hives and, as the photo indicates, many have been successfully yielding honey. This photo also shows that while it was a good idea, the practice of using paint stirrers as top bars is not ideal because they bend under the weight of the honey and risk breaking.

 Our Haiti Coordinator also happens to be a talented photographer, resulting in photos like this one above.

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