Research has shown that the demand for honey has exceeded the rate of production, locally. As such, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has teamed up with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Kingdom Apiary Products and Supplies, to enhance the production of bee products, locally.
The capacity-building workshop which opened at Duke Lodge in Kingston, Georgetown, yesterday, is set to introduce twenty-five entrepreneurs and prospective beekeepers to apiary management principles for honey and wax production.
The GCCI is the executing agency for the CDB’s “enhancing the Capacity of Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Guyana” which is a three-year project.
Speaking to Kaieteur News on the topic, Project Liaison Officer Eusi Evelyn noted that the low production rate is directly linked to the fact that benefits of honey are undersold in Guyana. He explained that GCCI is working to change this through a number of sensitization exercises.
The GCCI representative stated that honey is in demand in both the local health and commercial sectors. He explained that honey is largely used in the production of malt beverages, but it cannot be sourced here on a large scale.
“The Apiary industry in Guyana is relatively small, and therefore it is unable to meet the demands for honey locally. There are lots of benefits of honey and its by-products in both the business and health sectors.”
Additionally, Vice-President of the Guyana Apiculture Society, Linden Stewart explained that honey is antibacterial and it never spoils. Two drops of honey in the eyes every day can remove an early cataract….It is also recommended for diabetics.
Stewart went on to note that honey can be used to help heal open wounds, cuts and sores.
“The acid from honey will kill flesh-eating bacteria.”
Meanwhile, Evelyn emphasised that “bee keeping is more than honey.” He spoke of related products. He said that beeswax can be used to make candles, hair food and skin care products.
The GCCI official said that the workshop is to provide training in “apiary management/beekeeping” for 25 participants and is mainly for unemployed persons, including vulnerable groups, youths and women, preparing them to take advantage of the opportunities currently available in the local apiculture industry.
The planned outcomes of this workshop are an increased understanding of apiary and business management, application of knowledge and skills gained to start apiaries.”
The workshop includes three practical/field exercises with visits to honey bee hives, and to the New Guyana Marketing Corporation packaging facility, to facilitate demonstrations and clarification of concepts being taught.
The Apiary Workshop will seek to establish understanding of the technical skills and requirements for managing an apiary, including fundamentals of starting from types of bee hives; conditions under which honey bee colonies thrive; identification and breeding of queen bees; identification and roles of drone and worker bees; equipment necessary for handling honey bees; harvesting techniques; honey and beeswax production; and packaging and labelling techniques.
Additionally, participants will be exposed to marketing and record keeping.
Participants will learn how to use social media to market their products and services, as well as engage in social media monitoring.
There is another component of this project – during next week participants will attend another workshop which is focused on marketing and recordkeeping.
The training is expected take a “hands on approach” including coaching sessions and is expected to be interactive, giving participants the opportunity to ask questions.
Participants will also be guided in the use of accounting books/templates both manually and electronically and exposed to acceptable accounting software such as QuickBooks, Peachtree, and Sage 300 ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software.
Evelyn noted that by the end of the workshops, participants should be able to understand how to manage an apiary business, keep basic accounting records of income and expenses, markets, market trends, and sales; prepare income and expense reports and cash flow records; and keep and publish statistics of demand and supply of honey and beeswax by-products.
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