Beekeeping in Rwanda, has been one of the longest-running professions for centuries. Only as the years go by, the beekeepers do not hesitate to raise their voices, saying that the profession takes a big toll on the country, but many do not care about it, yet if it continues like this, would lead to the extinction of bees, thus having a serious impact on agriculture.
In addition to helping farmers to get harvest, beekeeping has been important for both human and animal health and for agricultural experts, they say that "a country without bees would not have a healthy life".
In addition to increasing fertility, beekeepers say that bee honey helps in the treatment of human-infectious diseases (including mobility, intestinal worms, eye infections …), and animal-infectious diseases. However, despite the benefits of bees and many more, beekeepers continue to worry that if left unmanaged, they will be left astray and lose the right path.
NSENGIYUMVA Laurent is a 68-year-old beekeeper from the Southern Province, Muhanga District in Cyeza Sector, with 53 years of beekeeping profession experience. From time immemorial, he says, the profession has crucial on the country, but they worry that bees are in decline due to human activities, largely based on agriculture.
“For the last 25 years, I have been harvesting much honey, where I used to produce more than a ton of honey twice a year. But now, if I am lucky and the weather will be better, I will not harvest more than two hundred kilograms (200 kg). As of 2020, I will harvest only once a year, depending on the changing weather. The bees themselves do not speak, otherwise they have very serious problems. ”
NSENGIYUMVA Laurent, along with his colleagues, appealed to the authorities to help them, as there is a way to protect the bees, but they themselves are still facing limited capacity, insufficient training and farmers who do not change their attitudes towards beekeeping.
Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board say that they are also aware of the problems facing beekeeping, and in collaboration with other stakeholders, some measure have been taken to protect the profession. Ms. Solange UWITUZE, is the Deputy Director in charge of Animal resources Research and Technology Transfer.
“We are aware of the problem of beekeeping, and we are working with entrepreneurs to find agricultural and non-destructive chemicals. What we are doing as RAB, is to teach people to feed their bees professionally, and there are trees that we want to teach them to plant near their farms, so that especially in the summer when there are no flowers, the bees will have something to eat near them, ”she said.