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Our Projects

More Bees: supporting agrobiodiversity and livelihoods in Amhara

Beekeeping is vitally important for the livelihoods and security of local communities across the Amhara Region of Ethiopia and has been so for decades. However, excessive pesticide application on crops has caused a decline in honey bees and other beneficial insects, forcing beekeepers to abandon their trade. Beekeepers spoke with the Bees for Development Ethiopia team during field discussions and expressed their concern, prompting Bees for Development UK and Bees for Development Ethiopia – together with colleagues from Pesticide Action Nexus Ethiopia – to conduct multiple studies into the ill-effects of pesticides on bees, and possible solutions. This assessment indicated the need to build the understanding, knowledge and skills of government extension workers and smallholder farmers in alternative crop pest management and beekeeping – so, the ‘More Bees’ Project was designed and launched. This Project aims to deliver multiple benefits for people and biodiversity, drawing on synergies between agriculture, sustainable development and ecosystem service provision. The Project entails implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques at two sites in Amhara; these techniques will use fewer harmful pesticides and make use of natural insect enemies to control pest populations. This will lead to an increased population of beneficial insects, including bees, with knock-on benefits for beekeepers and smallholder farmers. The Project is funded predominantly by the Darwin Initiative, and technical support is provided by Bees for Development and Pesticide Action Network UK to partners in Ethiopia: Bees for Development Ethiopia, Pesticide Action Nexus Ethiopia and Bahir Dar University. The Project will benefit 3000 smallholder farmers, from June 2022 to 31 March 2025 

Nature-based Beekeeping to support youth employment in Ibnat district

This Project seeks to address a deficit in young people’s access to wages and self-employment and to generate a reasonable and sustainable income for living. The Project will empower young people and women to lift themselves out of poverty, contributing to the eighth Sustainable Development Goal to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”. By improving young people’s work ethics, skills and access to financial services, the Project aims to increase income and self-employment opportunities for 120 resource-poor rural youths – half of whom are women – in Amstya Kebele, Ibnat district by the end of March 2026. 

The main Project activities include: 

  • Skill gap assessments 
  • Training manual development 
  • Training in entrepreneurship 
  • Adoption of Nature-based Beekeeping 
  • Integrated watershed management 
  • Multipurpose seedling production and marketing 
  • Establishment of Village-level Savings and Loan Groups (VSLGs) and training in financial literacy. 

     Project success, as always, will depend on building a close collaboration with relevant government stakeholders and regularly seeking feedback from local community members to ensuring that the Project interventions are meeting people’s expectations.  

    Investing in conservation actions for sustainable livelihoods in Alehuay

    ‘Investing in conservation actions for sustainable livelihoods’ is a reforestation project being implemented in Alehuay Kebele in the West Gojjam Zone of the Amhara Region. The Project was launched by Bees for Development Ethiopia in January 2022 and will run to December 2024. The Project aims to address three core issues in this region:  

    • Land degradation and soil erosion, caused by over-grazing and tree cutting. 
    • Insufficient employment opportunities for marginalised groups like youths, landless women and people with disabilities. 
    • Lack of strong community institutions and enforcement of community by-laws. 

    The expected outcome of the Project is to improve the resilience and capacity of 3,127 people, including 1,690 women, to adapt to climate change and reverse natural resource degradation.  

    The first two years of the Project saw the following achievements: 

    • 56 hectares of degraded land have been identified for restoration, 127,796 indigenous tree seedlings have been planted, dam construction is ongoing, and 28 villagers have been trained in community-based watershed management.  
    • Training has been provided to 100 community members, including 44 women, on beekeeping as a sustainable income generation and natural resource conservation tool. 49 trainees were instructed in different types of hive construction, 89 in honey harvesting and colony management, and 90 were provided colony management support.  
    • Six village-level savings and loan groups have been created and provided with savings kits, and 18 group leaders have been trained in financial literacy, leadership, gender equality and disability inclusion.