Meet Jostina Biira! She is one of our Beekeepers for Life from the KITE group in Uganda.
"Bees are money, food, medicine and they increase our crop yield."
Jostina lives on the slopes of Kasebere village in Kasese District in western Uganda with her husband and five sons. Unable to finish school due to limited resources, she is now delighted to have received training in beekeeping. She and other women formed a group called KITE and began training with LIDEFO in 2016 through the support of Bees Abroad. She is now so excited to share how beekeeping has helped her and the other women in the group…
“Beekeeping, if compared to other agricultural activities, pays better and there is no need for high skills. The products of bees are consumed even in our homes as food and medicine and also there is a ready market, so when we sell, we can make money!”
The Kite Women's Beekeeping Group Committee
The women in KITE have learned how to make top bar hives, learned how to care for them and how to harvest honey and wax. Jostina was excited for the first time in her life to cut timber and use nails and make herself a hive! We asked Jostina what changes she had seen in the KITE women since they trained as beekeepers.
“KITE women are very happy! We started with 4 hives colonized but now 14 have bees. The women never believed this could happen! But it is a miracle in this rural community! We no longer fear bees and are excited to see more hives colonized. And we have respect in our village. People now come to visit our Apiary as it is the only one they have seen in our village! They come to see the bees and are asking questions about bees and our hives!”
The Kite Women - "We never believed this could happen"
Through the KITE Women’s Beekeeping Group, Jostina has seen women enabled to come together and they have seen their environment improve through the planting of trees and flowers. We asked Jostina what her hopes as a beekeeper were for the future…
“I would like to learn how to make candles, shoe polish, lipshine with beeswax and increase income with business after selling my honey. I desire to make a shelter for my children, and I hope to be able to support elderly and disabled women and see more people trained in beekeeping.”