We are starting this project with our phones4bees campaign, appealing to people to donate their disused phones to the campaign. The phones will be used for the bee farmers to store their hive records, beekeeping qualifications and provide a secure system to transfer payment to them. This payment is for the honey they provide to the local community "Honey Processing Hubs" that the project that is setting up.
The idea is to increase the farmers' access to markets including the export markets, by bring the market to them. Access to market is something that small rural bee farmer, that are living hand to mouth don't currently struggle with. By providing resources and business support we hope to help them grow their production and increase their income security.
Additionally, promoting beekeeping in similar projects, has shown to encourage increased biodiversity in the area due to increased motivation to provide extra forage for the bees.Included in the project is research into the optimum hive for the African honeybee as contemporary hives being used in Africa are remnants from colonial times and were created for a different species of bee in a more temperate climate. This will include a trial of our new hive entrance innovation "Upstairs Downstairs Intrance" against African hive pests such as wasps, rodents, reptiles and the large hive beetle.
Our partner organisation in Kenya has been approached by charities offering aid to refugees as a method to help them re-build their lives and we currently have the keen interest expressed from 8 African countries. Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa and Uganda.
We have boxes in Just Trading and Bee zero in Wallingford for phones donations, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a postage label and jiffy bag.