Weʼve raised £2,175 to Mr. Khamis' Zanzibar England Beekeeping Exchange (ZEBE) Fund
- Pemba, Tanzania
- Funded on Tuesday, 20th March 2018
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Mr Khamis’ Zanzibar England Beekeeping Exchange (ZEBE)
I am fundraising for Mr Khamis to come to England to learn about our bees and beekeeping. He is a remarkable man I met while on a bee adventure in Zanzibar, who has added tremendous value to his community through setting up an ever-expanding honey cooperative. With keeping bees in managed hives a relatively new preserve in Zanzibar, exposure to English beekeeping (and beekeepers!) would be of huge benefit to Mr Khamis and, subsequently, his cooperative and community. I am aiming to raise £2000 by selling the first 100 jars of honey I make next year, alongside all proceeds from a naked beekeeping calendar! Any and all donations would be greatly appreciated to aid the brilliant things achieved by a very driven, kind man.
Let me tell you a little of Mr Khamis and his honey cooperative before giving all details about what I’m doing to fundraise, followed by a full account of the why, what, when and where of Mr Khamis’ proposed trip.
On a recent visit to Zanzibar, I met Mr Khamis on Pemba Island. Mr Khamis is the head of the Pemba Clove Honey Cooperative (PCHC). He kindly allowed me to accompany him as he visited the cooperative’s members and their beehives. I was very impressed with the community and saw the difference that the sale of their honey made to the lives of these beekeepers. However, I also saw that they had a lot of gaps in their knowledge of bee husbandry and management, which would lead to improved yields and an even bigger improvement to the community. Yearly honey production is less than a tenth of that which would be expected in England.
I believe that the best way to capitalise on the enthusiasm and potential of the cooperative under Mr Khamis’ modest but effective leadership, would be to get Mr Khamis to England to meet both commercial and private beekeepers to experience different scales of operations. He will learn how we keep our bees, improve yields and manage disease which he can adapt to conditions back home. When he returns to Zanzibar, he will have gained knowledge which he can share with the PCHC beekeepers and which I believe could significantly increase their honey production. In a part of the world where families survive on very little income, a few extra pounds of honey from a hive will make a huge difference to the quality of life.
If I can raise more money than the £2,000 for this trip, then this will be invested in the Pemba Clove Honey Cooperative: in educational poster and books, alongside specialist equipment to open up new beekeeping practices to them. If a significant amount is raised, further exchanges will be set up with the PCHC, hopefully with a charity stemming from this.
Later on I shall explain in more detail:
• Why I think it is so important to get Mr Khamis to come to England and learn about our beekeeping from my personal experience in Zanzibar with him;
• When and What Mr Khamis and I shall be doing in more detail, and what we are planning to achieve with his time here;
• How much would needed to be raised as a minimum, and the extra uses for further donations and the benefit they would bring;
There will also be the unabridged version of my various musings from my time with Mr Khamis on Pemba Island with the Pemba Clove Honey Cooperative here. This website, along with my Instagram and a Facebook Page, will keep you all up-to-date with Mr Khamis’ trip to England and what your donations have achieved!
'Inspecting a hive with Mr Ramadan, looking for presence of eggs'
So now I want your help in raising funds. Any and all donations would be wonderful! There are two things that I shall be doing for Mr Khamis’ ZEBE fund: giving you the chance to get your hands on a naked beekeeping calendar, featuring me (and anyone else who wants to join!) and/or get your hands on the limited edition, first ever batch of newly branded Lodge Honey. The profits from the calendar and proceeds from honey sales will all go towards the cost of ZEBE.
NAKED BEEKEEPING CALENDAR // LIMITED EDITION LODGE HONEY.
1. Limited edition Lodge Honey: I am currently revamping my honey packaging, so that it looks like, and is respected similarly to the fine wines to which honey deserves to be compared. As a little incentive, the first 100 people who donate £10 or more to Mr Khamis’ beekeeping exchange, and add a message with the donation that they would like a pot of honey, will get one of these first edition jars. I shall get try to get it to you in person as it is not terribly economical to post, please send me an email on email@example.com to arrange this. (If you would like it posted, please donate an extra £3.50)
2. Naked Beekeeping Calendar: If honey doesn’t grab you, but the prospect of getting me to beekeep naked for charity does….. with a naked beekeeping calendar as a memento, then please read on! If more than 25 people donate £15 or more (but ideally £20 as they’re rather expensive, particularly on small scale), and add a message to the donation that you would like a calendar, I shall send them a NAKED BEEKEEPING CALENDER. Please send your addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send them out when they are ready. Like the calendar girls, however I fear it shall only be me naked as other beekeepers I’ve bounced the idea off aren’t terribly keen on getting their kit off in front of “the girls” (worker bees are all ladies)! You shall see me inspecting the hives in the buff (with a well-positioned bee smoker puffing away), processing honey in the nude (that shan’t be sold…in case food trading standards are reading!) and settling into a nice beekeeping book in the winter months, with no clothes on, dreaming of the summer to come. Indeed, Dale from Bermondsey Street Bees is happy for me to do some London rooftop with-my-top-off beekeeping with The Shard in the background, but I fear this may give unfair comparison…. Calendars will be for 2019 as I shall do said beekeeping in April 2018 when the bees should be busy building up. But they shall be sent out in May 2018 so you can have a whole 7 months of perusing time before use!
3. As a one off, if by any chance the total makes it to £10,000, I sincerely swear that I shall learn how one grows a beard of bees and use this instead of a bee smoker to keep the photograph for the front of my calendar suitably PC…
Any and all donations, of whatever size, for honey/calendar or otherwise, would be very greatly appreciated.
'Unloading topbar hives off a pick-up truck in the community'
Why Get Mr Khamis To England?
I went to Zanzibar for a beekeeping adventure in April as a warm-up for my current year out from university studies to learn about bees and beekeeping in all its forms. In Zanzibar I learnt a lot. Not only did I realise how vastly differently their bees function in a different environment, with different seasons and different hive designs. But I also realised the relative lack of the principles of bee management and husbandry, which are often accepted as common place in England.
It was on Pemba Island where I met Mr Khamis, one of the founding members of the Pemba Clove Honey Cooperative (PCHC). He was one of the kindest and most modest men I have met, with an enthusiasm for bees, and had worked tirelessly for 11 years to set up this cooperative alongside his other job. He took me around the cooperative and introduced me to many of its members who all had questions on bees and honey, but it was difficult to answer them: both because beekeeping out there is so different to what I am used to, but also because of the lack of basic beekeeping knowledge and principles there. Don’t get me wrong, they are doing a fantastic job, bringing beekeeping in Pemba from a non-entity to a productive cooperative, but so much more could be achieved with more complete beekeeping knowledge. It is difficult to teach this by going out there and abstractly explaining English beekeeping, especially with a slight language barrier and completely different beekeeping techniques/seasons. Thus I see the best way to do such a thing would be to get Mr Khamis over to England to experience how we beekeep: see how we build up our hives at the start of the year; see how we select strong queens and colonies to breed off; see honey production and processing on a small to large scale; see different markets and uses for both honey and bee products. Hopefully, with this, he will be able to gain a general understanding of beekeeping in England. He will be able to learn certain skills, understand different equipment, and bring the principles and knowledge we employ here back to Zanzibar and translate them to his own bees and the PCHC.
I have never clearly seen a more valuable and sustainable cause (although I am rather biased towards bees). There is a lot of attention on bees dying out across the world, and in addition they have even greater challenges to control pests in Zanzibar. With the sheer enthusiasm and good will seen at the PCHC, there is no lack of effort nor desire from these beekeepers to improve their lot. A successful PCHC could have huge impacts, both environmentally and economically, in a very poor part of the world, and enable people to have a greater control of their own destiny. And I believe Mr Khamis is the key to unlock that potential.
'Clear evidence of comb pests in a hive where the bees had absconded completely'
When and What shall Mr Khamis and I be doing?
As I said, I am having my beekeeping year now. I wish to get Mr Khamis out to England next year for a month during April and May when it’s a very busy time in the English beekeeping calendar: hives are building up and being divided to create new colonies, the first honey crops are being taken and queens are being bred for the year ahead. He shows great interest in coming to England and would take time off work to fly out and learn from our bees and beekeepers here.
The plan as it stands would involve:
1. Visiting our family bees near Winchester to become accustomed to English bees and have time to learn about the basics of our beekeeping techniques.
2. Visiting other beekeepers in the local area, through Winchester Beekeepers Association and personal local commercial beekeeping contacts to see a wide variety or beekeeping styles, but with the basic principles all the same.
3. Hopefully spending time with one of the UK’s most renowned commercial beekeepers with whom I am in contact. If not, one of my other personal commercial beekeeping contacts.
4. Visiting Bermondsey Street Bees in London, the company I have been working for part-time during my studies and who are very excited to have him see their set-up. He would be able to see a different side of beekeeping: small apiaries in the city, and the London marketing and branding that goes along with it.
5. Depending on time-frame, I would like Mr Khamis to be able to see a wide range of beehives. From very simple traditional woven ‘skep’ hives, tree hives and Warré hives, to more complicated sun hives with the Natural Beekeeping Trust. Indeed just up the road is a friend with topbar hives, the same he uses in Pemba so he can feel at home!
6. At the end of his stay, I should like Mr Khamis to take the British Beekeepers Association’s (BBKA) Basic Beekeeping Assessment, which is primarily a practical exam showing knowledge of the hive and hive function, of swarm control and of honeybee pests and diseases.
‘Giving a lesson on false swarming at PCHC HQ’
How Much would need to be raised and for What?
I would like to sponsor Mr Khamis completely, from visas and fights to courses while here alongside the BBKA beekeeping assessment. My family and/or I shall put him up on his beekeeping exchange, but the purpose of my fundraising proposal is that I want to be able to cover all other costs:
1. Travel to and around the UK, with a visa, will cost approximately £1000, so this is the minimum amount that needs to be raised for Mr Khamis to come over.
2. With subsequent funds, I should like Mr Khamis to see all he can while here and undertake a couple of day courses with me in such things as traditional straw hive weaving. I should also like to give him a couple of Langstroth beehives, the ones I use, with all the trimmings (frames, wax foundation, varroa floors), for him to be able to take back to Pemba and use as demonstration hives to the members of the cooperative, and to see how the Zanzibar bees fare in them.
So my initial fundraising target is £2,000. However, it doesn’t stop there! If we are able to raise more money, this would be spent in investing in the Pemba Clove Honey Cooperative through educational posters, books and equipment. Such equipment as solar wax extractors and could open up a whole new product for them to market for relatively little! A beeswax foundation press and specific woodworking tools would allow then to try out different hive types which could be more productive. If a significant amount of money is raised, and if people are interested in long-term support of this beekeeping exchange, please express this interest and a charity will be set up for the exchange between English and Zanzibar beekeepers for purely educational purposes (which may mean an annual beekeeping calendar with evermore risky/risqué ideas…).
If there are any beekeepers reading this who could add ideas/advice on how we can ensure Mr Khamis gets the most value from his time here, are willing to host us or indeed gift Khamis any equipment, then please get in touch!
'Mr Khamis having a chat with one of the beekeepers on Makoongwe Island'
So that’s it folks. If possible, please donate before 2nd November as that’s when I’m off to New Zealand to explore Manuka Honey and would love to book flights soonest for Mr Khamis to keep the costs as low as possible! Any and all proceeds will go towards Mr Khamis’ exchange or helping the Pemba Clove Honey Cooperative. Photos and up-to-date news of Mr Khamis’ visit will be posted on the Facebook Page and on my Instagram. It even has its own website , with blog! Whatever you could give I would be truly appreciative of, either online on the Just Giving page, in cash in person, or by cheque to me, George Lodge, sent to “The Shallows, Itchen Stoke, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0QZ”. Any money I receive in person will be added to the Just Giving page. If you want to read the unabridged story of my visit to see Mr Khamis with full musings, please click here.
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Leave a message of support
Dec 10, 2017
Well done George, it sounds a great project. We shall look forward to sampling your honey.
Dec 4, 2017
Good luck George. I hope it all goes well. Lots of love
Nov 17, 2017
A novel and brilliant idea - please send a calendar.
Nov 9, 2017
Love from Big B
John & Tracey
Nov 5, 2017
Well Done George , this is an amazing .Of course we've had the pleasure of sampling your lovely honey so from us and our Khamisy to Mr Khamis we hope you enjoy your trip 🐝
Nov 1, 2017
Great stuff George!
Oct 31, 2017
Best of luck, lots of love the Ffennells
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About the fundraiser
I am a hobbyist beekeeper of about 11 years. Always fascinated by bees and beekeeping, I am taking a year out of my university studies to immerse myself in the World of bees. Part of this will involve getting Mr Khamis, a Zanzibar Beekeeper, to England to learn about our bees!