Beekeeping is one of the first projects created and coordinated by the Trust back in 2006. Over the years, many lessons have been learned regarding how to improve the Maa honey social enterprise and not rely on external companies. Several Maa Trust staff have been trained on beekeeping so that we are able to oversee the project directly.
In 2019, attention was focused on rehabilitating old hives, installing new high-quality CAB hives, and re-forming the Maa Honey women's groups. It was decided to expand Maa Honey beyond working exclusively with the existing women's groups. Maa Honey now also partners with individual local beekeepers, providing a harvesting service and sales avenue for all.
Tourism in the Maasai Mara provides a large profitable market for honey sales. We are expanding Maa Honey in 2020 by offering women's groups and families the opportunity to buy new CAB hives with a down payment of $50 with the other $50 covered by a loan subsidy repaid through harvest sales and then redistributed to other families or groups. To achieve this, we are looking for donors and partners who would like to donate $50 or more to support a loan subsidy.
Our target is to install 400 CAB hives across the Maasai Mara ecosystem over the next 3 years. We are also developing a Maa-language beekeeping curriculum to train local residents in basic and advanced beekeeping skills.
The Maa Trust has partnered with China House, an NGO aiming to integrate China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) into global sustainable development. They conduct conservation and social projects to connect Chinese people with the sustainable development of disadvantaged communities. China House has provided social capital to Maa Honey women’s groups allowing them to purchase 20 beehives and for The Maa Trust to train them in beekeeping skills.
The Maa Honey team led by Marias Ripau, Education and Skills Manager met with groups of Maa Honey members and explained to them about the project and what was needed from them. The women were allowed to select nine women from the groups to be trained in modern-day beekeeping techniques, including how to set up beehives, apiary management, hive inspection, hive maintenance, honey harvesting, packaging for the market, and creating a value chain that guarantees high returns.
“There is one livelihood skill which when started can continuously give you income and food at least twice a year. Its potential as a business is yet to be realized, especially for groups wishing to start-up small-scale businesses. It also benefits both the environment and food crops that you are growing. The demand for its product never ceases but keeps on increasing both locally and internationally. That livelihood skill is beekeeping.” Marias Ripau, Education and Skills Manager.
On 18th September, the nine women selected attended the first training at The Maa Trust’s Headquarters. They enjoyed wearing bee suits and learning practical beekeeping skills.
If you would like to donate $50 or more towards this endeavor, please follow the links below to donate.
For UK Gift Aid donations
The Maa Trust Charitable Foundation: justgiving.com/maatrust
For USA 501(c)3 and international donations
Sidekick Foundation: sidekickfoundation.org/donate/
Please select The Maa Trust from the dropdown menu