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Uganda - February 2014

Value for money is incredibly important to us. This February Martin will be accompanying an independent, external evaluator who will assess the cost effectiveness of our Comic Relief funded Uganda Honey Trade Project. Read more about the project here.


Uganda - January 2014

Janet is currently in Mbale, East Uganda, delivering training as part of the Welsh Government Million Trees project. For more information click here.


Training courses in the UK click here for courses in 2014


Big Give Christmas Challenge 5-13th December 2013

Thank you for all your generous donations. Your help will support African women in rural areas who frequently lack independent means of earning money, despite heavy domestic and farming workloads. Training them in beekeeping allows them to generate income and become self-reliant.

Ethiopia- December 2013

This December Janet will be visiting Ethiopia, where BfD has helped establish the Apiculture Centre of Excellence. The Centre helps beekeepers in one of the poorest regions of Ethiopia, by offering advice about apiculture best practice, resource management and beekeeping as a business.

Bees for Development comments on NAfW briefing on bee health 8 May 2013

Click here (PDF) or open new page to read comments.

Beekeepers Create Buzz to Urge MPs to Ban Insecticide (26 April 2013)

Protestors gathered today outside the Shire Hall, Monmouth,  to urge MPs to back a proposed EU ban on insecticides.  A decision is due on Monday from UK Secretary of State for Environment, Owen Patterson, on whether to support moves to restrict the use of the controversial insecticide grouping neonicotinoids. 

The demo came as hundreds of activists including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB, gathered in Westminster to call on Patterson to take action.  Recent years have seen the UK bee population nose dive.  As well as providing honey and wax bees are vital for ensuring the pollination of our food crops.

Gareth Baker, whose bees have helped pollinate the region’s fruit crops for many years, fears for the future.  Having experienced an unprecedented 60% die-off among his bees over the winter, his current stocks are weaker and massively fewer for crucial pollination work this spring.  “Increased use of neonicotinoids in crops surrounding orchards is a great worry to me. I cannot see how the increase in use of insecticides such as neonicotinoids, and the deaths of my bees, are completely unrelated.  Have we forgotten that bees are insects?”

Celebrated Bee Tree at Pedu Lake Debarked to Die April 2013

The famous tree at Pedu Lake, Malaysia, has previously featured twice on the front cover of our BFD Journal. Due to its importance to the honey bee ecosystem in Malaysia, as home to generations of Apis dorsata honey bees - and sustainably harvested by generations of honey hunters, the tree remained in place while almost all surrounding forest has been cleared by logging. BFD has now heard that this famous and fabulous tree has been debarked.  This means that the tree will certainly die.

An article in Bees for Development Journal  featured the plight of honey hunters who are losing their livelihoods due to deforestation and illegal logging. It is believed that the debarking of the tree is a form of retaliation.  To find out more about this wonderful tree visit

Martha Kearney and Bill Turnbull in conversation

Martha and Bill entertained us with their conversation about bees at the National Honey show in October 2012. Thank you to all our supporters who attended the event.

Bill Turnbull opens Bees for Development's premises

As a passionate beekeeper and committed Patron of Bees for Development Trust, Bill Turnbull officially opened Bees for Development's new premises in Monmouth on Saturday 14 July 2012. In celebration of this event, Monmouth hosted its first Bee Festival with stalls, street theatre and speakers providing bee-related entertainment and education for all.

Bill Turnbull cutting the ribbon

BBC Breakfast TV presenter Bill stood at a first floor window to talk to the crowd gathered on the street below, before cutting the huge ribbon hanging across the front of 1 Agincourt Street with a pair of golden shears. During the afternoon, in Monmouth Shire Hall he talked about his hobby as a beekeeper before returning to BfD to sign copies of his book The Bad Beekeepers Club. Other speakers on the day were Dr Brigit Strawbridge with an enlightening talk on "Love bumble bees" and Dr Nicola Bradbear, who gave an introduction to the work of Bees for Development and explained what the day was all about.

Bee Festival
The Bee Festival took place in and around Monmouth Shire Hall (adjacent to BfD). At the Festival, were all things bee and honey related including honey tasting, exhibits by bee, plant and environmental organisations, and lots of stalls showcasing the wonderful world of bees - plus how to start in beekeeping. The honey-themed performance presented by Sheffield's Pif-Paf street theatre, was supported by The Co-operative's Plan Bee. For children, there was face painting, competitions and other activities. 

The Bee Festival was organised jointly with Adventa, part of Monmouthshire's rural development programme, and also saw the launch of the Green Book of Gardening in Monmouthshire 2013. 

Monmouth Residents and visitors for the day alike were delighted to join the event - the Lord Mayor described the town as 'buzzing'!

Press release here.

Apiculture Centre Of Excellence Opens In Ethiopia

June 2012

Trade Advance Ltd and Bees for Development are working together in a new partnership to develop beekeeping livelihoods in one of the poorest parts of Ethiopia. The initial step will be to establish an Apiculture Centre of Excellence, the first of its kind, in the State of Amhara. The Centre will be an information and education hub, offering advice about beekeeping as a business.

Bernie & Yemi Thomas, Founders & Directors of Trade Advance Ltd, have committed funds to establish the centre. They said: "When we set up Trade Advance Ltd in 2003 we always had a vision of using the business for more than just making a profit and more specifically to help address poverty in Ethiopia".

The Apiculture Centre of Excellence, called Bees for Development Ethiopia, is governed as an independent Ethiopian charity, based in Bahir Dar, Amhara. The Director of the Apiculture Centre of Excellence is Ethiopian beekeeping expert and development specialist, Mr. Tilahun Gebey.

Read here for full Press Release

Pictures of beekeeping in Ethiopia

Swimming for Bees for Development Trust!

Heather Walker swam in the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere (UK) on 18 June, to raise funds for the Trust.

Thanks to Heather and please support her effort by donating via her Just Giving page. Click here to support Heather.

Thank you to all who supported us through the BBC Radio 4 Appeal, presented by Martha Kearney.

Click here to hear the appeal.

Click here to support Bees for Development Trust.

Forthcoming Bees for Development courses

Other news

Listen to Deslyn Richard's poem Beekeepers

Raise funds for Bees for Development Trust on eBay

You can now sell items on eBay and raise money for BfDT at the same time. When listing your items, choose to donate between 10-100% of the final selling price to Bees for Development Trust - visit our eBay for Charity page by clicking here

Book now available online

By Dr Nicola Bradbear titled 'Bees and their role in forest livelihoods: a guide to the services provided by bees and the sustainable harvesting, processing and marketing of their products' can now be downloaded from the FAO website. Click hereto be taken to the link in our Information Portal.  Or you can order a copy at our store.

"Special Issue" Apidologie

Release of a "special issue" of Apidologie on Bee conservation. This special edition contains views from the worlds leading experts on bee conservation,  with them expressing the status of bee consevation as it stands now, and also highlighting the areas which need to be addressed. Find out more.

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September 2013

Sustainable beekeeping in Africa
Practical beekeeping - hygiene in colony management
Practical beekeeping -straight top-bar combs
Warré People's Hive
Beekeeping economics in Uganda
South East Asia beekeeping project
News around the World
Tom Seeley at Apimondia
Look and Learn Ahead
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