Gorongosa National Park recently held it's inaugural Honey Harvest, the first batch of honey produced in the model apiary at the Community Education Center (CEC). This first batch of honey came from 40 hives installed six months ago in the small miombo forest at the CEC. This model apiary works as an educational model for the neighboring communities that gather to learn about beekeeping at courses promoted by the Human Development Department at the Park. In addition to beekeeping, honey processing and storage are also taught.
Director of Conservation, Pedro Muagura, talks about beekeeping and honey production.
The Beekeeping Program involves communities in the Gorongosa National Park Human Development Zone as part of the diversification of income-generating activities based on non-timber forest resources. These activities help increase the economic resilience of communities as well as ensure environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation in the Greater Gorongosa region. The initiative aims to promote the commercial production of honey by local people in the area.
The team that collected the first batch of honey included beekeeping technicians as well as the GNP Park Warden, the Permanent Secretary of the Gorongosa District, the President of Gorongosa Restoration Project and the Cheringoma District Administrator
The program's philosophy is to train beekeepers in the advanced handling of apiaries, the distribution of improved hives, the purchase of honey from the local communities by the Park, and help link these communities to the honey commercial market. To date, 60 members of the communities have been trained and the Park purchased about 240 kilos of raw honey produced by the farmers since the beginning of this campaign, which runs from August to September. By the end of April GNP expects to be able to purchase an additional 800 kilograms of honey from members of local communities.
The end product: delicious Gorongosa Honey!
The event was attended by members of the local government. Notably the Cheringoma District Administrator, the Gorongosa District Permanent Secretary, the District Director of Economic Activities, several community leaders, as well as beekeepers from neighboring communities.
A highlight of the event was the performance of the "Together" Group from Eduardo Mondlane High School in Gorongosa Village, who entertained and educated the assembly with a drama about the benefits of modern beekeeping.