Wind Farm launches beekeepers programme

2015-09-24 06:00
Otto Williams is the elected trustee of the Sarah Baartman Bee Trust. 

Otto Williams is the elected trustee of the Sarah Baartman Bee Trust. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has funded the development of a local beekeepers trust, which includes skills development, training and equipment to the value of over R1.2 million.

Twenty-two local community members are being trained to become bee keepers and will be registered members of the Sarah Baartman Bee Keeper Trust, which will own and operate up to 500 productive beehives.

This is an extraordinary enterprise development programme, initiated and sponsored by the wind farm, which not only empowers local community members, but also upskills and creates the opportunity for immediate and future earnings.

“The objective of this enterprise development programme is to create commercial opportunity for local members of the community who are unemployed or seasonally employed,” explains Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Manager for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

The beekeepers will be registered as commercial beekeepers with SABIO (South African Bee Industry Organisation). The beekeepers will be equipped with the necessary tools, equipment and skills to operate successfully as commercial beekeepers. This Trust will own 500 productive beehives set up in apiaries on selected stands in the area in the first year of operations, whilst the beneficiaries will be competently trained, provided with the necessary equipment to care for the apiaries and harvest the honey and own the Beekeeping equipment and protective clothing.

“It is our vision to empower and mentor the trainees through their trust, so that they can operate the apiaries on a commercial basis for a substantial and sustainable income,” says Green-Thompson.

This is an economic development initiative funded by Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm aimed to benefit the communities in the vicinity of the wind farm in multiple ways, including enterprise development, which promotes access to the economy for local people, and helps to plough financial resources into the local area

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