African Engineers: Honey for All

Engineers in a building state often come across by themselves at the foundation of an inverted pyramid of grassroots industrial exercise: upgrading mechanical workshops to make devices for rural industries that provide inputs for agriculture and/or article-harvest processing. In Kumasi, Ghana, for instance, the Technological innovation Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Technological know-how (KNUST) released the manufacture of carpenters observed benches and taught neighborhood carpenters to make Kenyan best-bar beehives to aid an substantial beekeeping sector. In Kumasi in the 1970s only just one workshop created noticed benches, perhaps a dozen or so carpenters created beehives but the beekeepers came to quantity hundreds with some particular person apiaries utilizing hundreds of beehives.

When in 1975 TCC engineers studied the misplaced-wax bronze-casting sector of kurofofrom around Kumasi, the artisans, makers of the famed Ashanti gold weights, complained of lack of beeswax. It was shortly identified that the only regionally-generated honey and beeswax in Ghana arrived from honey hunters who utilized hearth to push wild bees from their nests and take their honey. The honey was of bad quality, typically tasting of smoke and contaminated by the brood: younger bees in the egg and pupa levels of progress. It was realised that a beekeeping field could supply the community industry with better high quality honey, beeswax and other bee goods.

SIS Engineering Ltd, a client of the TCC was producing carpenters’ noticed benches for woodworking enterprises making weaving looms for another rural business venture. These very same carpenters could, no doubt, deliver beehives if acceptable designs have been provided, so a search commenced for a beehive intended to accommodate the African honey bee. In 1977 it was uncovered that a job in Kenya funded by the Canadian International Advancement Company (CIDA) had created the Kenyan Leading-Bar Hive (KTBH) and drawings of the hive had been obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture in Nairobi. Early in 1978 3 of these hives were made in the Section of Creating Technology workshop on the KNUST campus.

Two of the new beehives ended up equipped to an APPLE task at Atebubu in Brong-Ahafo Region which aimed to educate wild honey hunters as beekeepers. The 3rd was set up in the university’s botanical backyard where it was soon colonised by regional bees. Regrettably, the college experienced no properly trained beekeepers and it was not right until 1979 that it was possible to deliver two men and women from Kumasi to Kenya for instruction. On their return, some serious beekeeping begun and the on-campus apiary was steadily expanded.

By January 1981 the TCC was confident adequate to start off a education programme and a Very first Nationwide Workshop on Beekeeping was held on the KNUST campus. It was attended by 53 persons, 20 ended up US Peace Corps volunteers, who were being incredibly serious in selling the new rural business, and 33 had been Ghanaians and a several overseas people from all sections of the region. A quantity of these pioneers turned big-scale beekeepers who helped and encouraged lots of of their pals and neighbours to start off their personal apiaries.

Of all the jobs of the TCC started off in the initially two decades of its existence, it is likely that beekeeping touched the life of most people today and distribute economic, social and overall health added benefits most commonly all over the state. Some beekeepers, like Kwesi Addai in Sunyani developed up apiaries of 300 hives and manufactured honey saved in 200 litre oil drums. Annual income amounted to millions of cedis and traders from Cote d’Ivoire crossed the border to buy a great deal of the make. Lots of smaller farmers mounted a number of beehives on their modest plots and women in search of to increase the diet program of their small children ended up inspired by particular programmes to set up one hive apiaries to make honey for property use and for sale.

As for the misplaced wax bronze casters, beeswax experienced hardly ever been so low cost or so plentiful. Huge stocks of beeswax designed up at the much larger business apiaries and the TCC was confronted with needs to find export marketplaces for this product. Beekeepers had been also trying to get marketplaces for other bee merchandise this kind of as royal jelly, pollen and bee venom, all of which can be used as medicines or dietary supplements.

Beekeeping touched the lives of countless numbers of people. It was the type of project in which international enhancement companies delight, bringing rewards to the poorest people today in the most deprived rural places. But it could not have flourished but for the little group of carpenters who built the beehives, and the carpenters could not have coped with the large demand for beehives with out the machines designed by a single engineering workshop situated in the great city of Kumasi. The global advancement companies are reluctant to support jobs in what they contemplate to be the wealthier urban spots, but without having these jobs supported by institutions like the TCC the mass-influence rural assignments would not be attainable, unless sustained forever from outside. For domestically self-sustained financial growth in establishing nations around the world a potent urban-based mostly engineering field is important.