Women’s Beekeeping Initiative

Women’s Beekeeping Initiative

The elevation of rural women as messengers of environmental protection, equality, and sustainable development is critical to long-term conservation success in our partner communities. The Women’s Beekeeping Initiative empowers more than 900 women across 50 groups to develop their own environmentally-friendly enterprises.

Many of the participating women belong to the Maasai tribe. According to tradition, they lack decision-making power if they are financially dependent on their husbands. As entrepreneurs with their own income, Maasai women are able to increase their involvement and status in the community, invest in health care, send their children to school, and reduce their families’ environmental impact.

Entrepreneurial Skill Building

APW empowers women with the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs over the long term. Before launching their own businesses, members of our Women’s Beekeeping Initiative receive training in the essential skills of enterprise management, record keeping, project supervision, and monitoring and evaluation. As their businesses develop, the women receive additional training over time to strengthen and expand their knowledge. 

Members of APW's Women's Beekeeping Initiative learn valuable skills through entrepreneurship seminars
APW's Women's Beekeeping Initiative helps women start small businesses

Beekeeping Business Development and Expansion

After participating women’s groups complete entrepreneurship training, they are eligible to apply for microgrants to launch their beekeeping businesses. By selling wildlife-friendly honey to local lodges, the women earn a sustainable revenue stream they can use to support their families, develop additional businesses, and become true entrepreneurs. As their businesses grow, the women’s groups support one another through mentorship and knowledge-sharing. Along the way, APW’s beekeeping team provides support in hive management and harvesting, working with the women to improve harvest rates.

Community Conservation Projects

Rather than requesting traditional repayment, we ask women to pay back their microgrants in the form of conservation gains. The women commit to lead projects such as village cleanups, tree plantings, watershed restoration work, and environmental education outreach. When other local people see and participate in these activities, community attitudes toward conservation improve.

Maasi_cleanup-compressor
Honey produced by APW's Women's Beekeeping Initiative is sold under the Mama Asali brand

Wildlife-Friendly Honey and Habitat Protection

Members of our Women’s Beekeeping Initiative have hung more than 700 beehives in locations that conserve critical wildlife habitats. Under the Tanzanian Beekeeping Act, areas where hives are hung are protected from tree cutting and cultivation. The honey is bottled and sold under the brand Mama Asali, which means Mama Honey in Swahili. Mama Asali is marketed as a wildlife-friendly, premium product.

“I see a bright future after receiving the money we earned from the first harvest. I will be better able to take care of my family. I can spend more on healthcare and also save money for the future.”

SALOME MPONGOLIANA, MEMBER OF NGAO WOMEN’S GROUP

P.O. Box 624

Bernardsville, NJ 07924

+1 (908) 642-1540

P.O. Box 11306

Arusha, Tanzania

+255 767 172 086

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