A promissing beginning

13 June 2024

This innovative project, led by Wild Survivors, aims to establish a women-led beekeeping and honey production enterprise to mitigate human-elephant conflict. Specific activities include extending an existing beehive fence, establishing a women's beekeeping enterprise and a permaculture garden. Six months into the project good progress has been made.

The Wild Survivors team were able to co-design the beehive fence strategy and implementation plan with the farmers and local government authority of Kitete, beginning in September 2023. The beehive fence initiative has become recognized in neighboring communities as a working solution to protect cultivated plots from foraging elephants along the Ngorongoro Crater forest boundary.

Complementing the community beehive fence initiative is the Women’s Beekeeping Enterprises. The initiative will upskill and empower women in the community who similarly struggle with elephant crop-raids and promote gender equality and financial independence, in addition to increasing food security, family wellbeing and economic stability across the wider community. Through Wild Survivors’ engagement with the community development officer, local government authority, and the field team outreach to community members, they connected with a small women’s collective who were interested to develop skills in beekeeping. The SAHHTI Women’s Group was formed in Kitete Vilage with guidance and support from Wild Survivors. Throughout the months of December and January, membership continued to increase as women in the community were drawn to the unity, support, and learning opportunities that the group would provide. By February, forty women had joined in time to attend the first Wild Survivors five day workshop ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’.

Parallel to beehive fence and beekeeping activities to promote elephant coexistence and economic empowerment in Kitete Village, is the practice of permaculture and coexistence farming. As part of the community outreach and training in effective farming techniques and improved wellbeing, Wild Survivors introduced training to the beehive fence farmers in the process of chili planting along the boundary of their farms - a natural elephant deterrent and nitrogen fixing crop.