Monday, May 14, 2012

First Trip to Guyana Proves Successful for North Carolina Beekeeping Couple

Ellis and Linda Hardison of Robbins, North Carolina, joined the Partners’ Farmer to Farmer volunteer network this past January when they spent two weeks in Guyana on a beekeeping assignment. The Hardisons’ trip was just the second beekeeping assignment carried out as part of the Farmer to Farmer Guyana Program. The couple set out to provide training and education both to practicing beekeepers looking to improve the quality of their bees and honey, as well as to locals interested in learning about the basics and benefits of beekeeping.
 
Ellis and Linda Hardison pose with Guyana beekeepers
Ellis and Linda identified three major accomplishments achieved during their visit. The first was providing instruction on effective ways to develop good, productive queens. They presented both the no-graft and Nicot system (grafting) of raising queens and discussed the pros and cons of queen regeneration, the most popular method among the training participants. The second included visits to six beeyards. During these visits, the Hardisons discussed beeyard location, hive maintenance, using the proper amount of foundation and how to secure wax stores of collected swarms into frames, among other topics. The third major accomplishment was a two-day beginner beekeeping workshop conducted with the Silver Sands Producers & Development Association, composed mostly of novice beekeepers and individuals looking to learn more about bees. Reflecting on his visits with local beekeepers, Ellis explained,
Ellis leads a demonstration at a local beeyard.
“The beekeepers that I met were the same as beekeepers I had met all over the world – very friendly, congenial and willing to participate. This made my wife and I feel very welcome. Everyone was very willing to participate in the programs that we presented. I found that we had very loyal participation in the programs.”
Additional trip highlights included meeting the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, and appearing on a live television broadcast of “Guyana Today”, the most popular morning TV show in Guyana reaching 50,000 viewers regularly. After appearing on the morning show, Ellis recalls being recognized as “the beekeepers!” at the local supermarket.

Linda also had very positive things to say about her experience in Guyana. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit a country about which I knew so little but have grown to love so much…I’m planning a little corner of my garden where I’ll grow things that remind me of Guyana. Then I can look at it and recall such good memories.”

No comments:

Post a Comment