About us

About Bees for Development Ethiopia

We are an Ethiopian-resident NGO based in Bahir Dar, Amhara working to develop beekeeping towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Ethiopia. Honey and beeswax are valuable products with ready markets in Ethiopia, creating real opportunity for rural people to earn income from bees. Environmental degradation and biodiversity loss in Ethiopia creates a strong need to develop income-generating activities in rural areas which are compatible with wise use of natural resources – and beekeeping fits well with this imperative. Land shortages in over-populated parts of the country are forcing rural families to diversify their livelihoods away from conventional agriculture and livestock. Beekeeping has significant potential to address problems and harness opportunities in Ethiopia. 

Our mission

Our mission is to promote beekeeper-friendly beekeeping practices in Ethiopia that are well integrated with the environment thereby contributing to sustainable rural livelihoods. 

Our vision

BfDE envisions seeing Ethiopians whose livelihoods are sustained through integrated apiculture development and the sustainable management of natural resources.  



Our story

After a long career in beekeeping development in Ethiopia, BfDE was founded by beekeeper Tilahun Gebey in 2012. Tilahun was determined to make beekeeping accessible for everyone, regardless of their financial status. This determination manifested in the establishment of BfDE which works to make beekeeping ‘beekeeper-friendly’ i.e. practical, and accessible. Since 2012 BfDE has grown to be an effective NGO working in partnership with communities, government and local stakeholders to improve lives and landscapes, through beekeeping.

What we do

Our work

Bees for Development Ethiopia’s work is driven by three Strategic Objectives towards achieving our overall Goal to reduce poverty and unemployment and to protect nature and the environment. 

To achieve these Objectives we deliver a range of projects including the protection and creation of bee habitat, restoring degraded land, beekeeping skills training, honey and beeswax trade development and protecting bees from pesticides.  

Objective 1

Increased income of poor households, rural unemployed youth, people with disabilities and women, from beekeeping and wise use of natural resources. 

Objective 2

Improved perennial vegetation cover and biodiversity

Objective 3

Improved institutional systems and capacities for integrating natural resource management with beekeeping.