For the past several years VIP, under the leadership and guidance of VIP Board Member and New Jersey State Apiarist Tim Schuler, has worked to train some of our farmers in Malawi to become bee keepers. This year, our catchment area has been blessed with steady rainfall throughout the growing season. This not only meant good news for the maize harvest, it was also a boon for our beekeepers. With such plentiful rain the Malawian countryside exploded into color as all sorts of flowering plants sprang up. The bees were able to gather nectar from the myriad flowers that grew around the maize, pigeon peas, pumpkins, soy beans, groundnuts and other summer crops and turn it into honey in their hives.
Last week the harvesting of the honey began in earnest in Mpoola village. VIP currently has 16 hives in Mpoola Village and these hives produced enough for 25 bottles of honey. The honey was then sold to generate income for the beekeepers to spend on school fees, home improvements and further investments in their business. This added income can have a huge impact on our partner villagers, almost all of whom are subsistence farmers. VIP is committed to creating economic opportunities so that, with all of the necessities of life ensured, the villagers of Malawi can begin to develop themselves. VIP works with our partner villages to create an environment that will foster economic growth. Through training, micro-finance and job creation programs VIP is creating sustainable development. Harvesting of the honey will continue throughout June. Tim and his beekeepers patient work with their hives is starting to pay off in a big way!