After working out the kinks of the top bar hive frame construction in week one, our team of builders including myself, my brother Cien Keilty-Lucas, our long time friend Madeleine Ruegg, Tolera Kumsa, and our two local hired hands Tameskin Alemu and Mengestu, we started off the week with a mass production line Ethiopia has only seen far and few between.
When the Medula women’s group began to collaborate on the construction of their hives on Wednesday, it also didn’t take them long to get the bamboo weaving underway.
The work could easily be seen as tedious, yet the women found a way to drown out the monotony with a fair bit of chatter, song and laughing.
It was another informative and empowering week of class and a busy one of building, but in the end all participants were satisfied in the construction of their very own Top Bar beehive.
The second week of our Education program took place in Medula Town. A dust filled city center of about 10 thousand people, though many more are surly scattered in its surrounding area. The Sunday leading up to the training we once again held a meeting with all interested members, only this time the pre requisite was that they needed to be a participant in one of Weema Internationals self help groups for community women.
Divided into 6 groups of 20, the women have been taught skills in entrepreneurship and work together to save funds which can later be invested into new marketable opportunities. About 50 participants showed up to our meeting and after identifying those with previous beekeeping experience, we asked that the groups decide amongst themselves whom would be the best representative to participate in our beekeeper training program. Chatter ensued for over 20 minutes while groups organized themselves and after coming together to finalize class times. Class began the following day.