Ghana Everyday living: Beekeeping in the Tropics

Kwame Mainu and his English mate, Tom Arthur, are travelling again to Kumasi in July 1986 from Kwame’s mother’s hometown, Wenchi, in Brong-Ahafo Region. They have with them Kwame’s half-sister, Adjoa, who is heading to Kumasi to obtain footwear to sell in her kiosk on Wenchi Superior Road. On the way they strategy to go to Sunyani, the cash of Brong-Ahafo Region and the home of Ghana’s most important beekeeper with a thriving export marketplace more than the nearby border with Cote d’Ivoire. It was Tom’s prospect to study about the assure of tropical beekeeping as a prevalent cottage market and likely a major employer in deprived rural areas of Ghana.

Kwame advised Tom about Kwesi Ansah, an oil palm farmer who had figured out beekeeping from the Technologies Consultancy Centre (TCC) of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Know-how (KNUST), Kumasi, and was now Ghana’s major honey producer with additional than 300 beehives. Kwesi had organised a group of nearby individuals to foyer the regional administration to make all needed preparations for the coming of the ITTU. Kwame had invited Kwesi to have lunch with them at a restaurant in Sunyani, but initial they would be ready to stop by Kwesi at his mini industrial complicated in the vicinity of the market.

They located Kwesi at his office. His bald head reflecting the early morning sun was outshone by his broad smile and heat greeting. Tom sensed at at the time that in this article was a guy of excellent means, a natural chief. He was eager to clearly show the readers all he had achieved in the brief time given that he had built make contact with with the TCC. “I started with beekeeping,” he started, “then I determined to make my have beehives and established up a woodworking shop. Now I offer beehives to my neighbours in Brong-Ahafo Area and I also train them in beekeeping at my apiary and assist them in any way I can to get started off. At the TCC in Kumasi I also saw some machines for milling corn and generating gari from cassava so I introduced some of these equipment right here to reveal these routines and offer the services. My most important organization was escalating oil palms so I obtained presses and boiling tanks from the TCC to deliver my very own palm oil. Now I have designs to invest in a cleaning soap plant and use the palm oil to generate cleaning soap.”

Tom marvelled at this entrepreneurial zeal. This just one male experienced transferred many significant rural industrial technologies from Kumasi to Sunyani, some 130 kilometres, supplied critical new solutions for the group and produced get the job done for a lot of persons. With this sort of people scattered about the country the ITTU programme could not are unsuccessful in its quest to make grassroots industries in all the areas. Tom was impressed by the simple fact that regional progressive entrepreneurs like Kwesi Ansah in Sunyani and Alhajji Issah Masters in Tamale experienced been drawn into the programme and persuaded to help the introduction of the ITTU in their region. It was clear that these men and women were being persuaded that the College of Science and Engineering could supply direct support to grassroots industries in their locality.

Kwesi Ansah joined them in the Land Rover to go to his apiary in the oil palm plantation. They drove off in a north-westerly route toward Bechem on the street to the border with Cote d’Ivoire. Close to Nsuatre, Kwesi’s residence village, they turned off to the left and were quickly in the plantation. Kwesi advised Kwame to park the car and they acquired out for what was forewarned to be a extensive walk.

Adjoa said that she experienced no desire in prolonged walks and had seen oil palms in advance of. Tom looked with reduction at the overarching palm trees, realising that they would be walking in the shade. With a wide sweep of his arm Kwesi indicated the broad extent of his land, all protected in oil palms. Leaving Adjoa sitting besides the motor vehicle, the a few adult men plunged into the darkish shadows that stuffed the avenues among the trees. Tom tried to steer his views absent from the reptilian fauna that might inhabit these shady tracks and grassy verges. He concentrated on following intently where Kwesi experienced trodden as he enthusiastically led his readers further more and further more into the heart of his domain.

They did not try to rely how many beehives they noticed scattered about less than the oil palms above a large region. They hailed occasional pairs of staff dutifully enterprise several factors of hive management, which include the all critical harvesting of honey. Kwesi described that in contrast to in England where by honey could only be developed in the summer months, here the bees had been lively all the yr spherical. There ended up no chilly winter season months during which the bees desired to be fed. Tom asked about the honey produce and Kwesi mentioned that some hives could make up to 15 litres a 12 months, whilst the average was nearer 5 litres. He showed Tom his honey retail outlet at present stocked with a few total 200 litre oil drums. Beeswax, forged in cylinders about 20 cm in diameter and 8 cm thick, have been stacked to the roof of the drop. “Can you aid us uncover markets for beeswax?” requested Kwesi, “I have study that it has more than a single hundred industrial employs.”

Tom requested about the area makes use of of beeswax and Kwame advised him that there was a smaller desire from the regular shed-wax bronze casting business and from persons carrying out monitor printing but the beekeepers were being now creating nicely in excessive of regional demand. Component of the dilemma was the Kenyan leading bar hive that created much more wax and fewer honey than a modern-day European framed hive would. The Kenyan hive experienced been released as an simply managed hive for novice beekeepers but professional beekeepers like Kwesi should really be relocating on to a new framed hive now getting introduced by the TCC. When the bees produced honey in a framed comb they wasted pretty very little honey in generating wax. The comb in its body was changed in the hive after the honey experienced been extracted and the only wax manufactured by the bees was to cap the cells. With the introduction of framed hives, honey production would maximize and wax output would lessen.

Tom asked Kwame why the framed hive had not been released before. He was advised that they were being waiting for the introduction of the centrifuge that was necessary to extract the honey from the frames. It was only not too long ago that domestically created centrifuges experienced turn into obtainable. Kwesi said that he would order a centrifuge from SRS Engineering future time he went to Kumasi.

Then Tom requested about the export prospective customers for beeswax. Kwame instructed him that the TCC experienced enquired about the worldwide industry and there was scope to provide industrialised nations around the world but the actual profit would arrive if the beeswax could be processed to clear away its colour and scent. This had been shown experimentally by Professor Kuffuor at the chemistry division of the university. In this situation it could serve as a raw product for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries for generating products as varied as lipsticks and suppositories. Kwame experienced also read that the Roman Catholic Church necessary that all its candles really should be built of pure beeswax. At the existing time all beekeepers ended up currently being suggested to retail outlet their beeswax in anticipation of marketplaces remaining identified in the not-much too-distant long run.