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EAST-Cameroon: SAILD continues to build community capacity

From June 24 to 29, 2024, the populations of Tête d’Eléphant, Liguim and Lom 1 in East Cameroon, recently trained in beekeeping, carried out an inspection of the hives installed under the supervision of SAILD.

From June 24 to 29, 2024, some fifteen farmers from the villages of Tête d’Eléphant, Liguim and Lom1 in the Lom-et-Djerem department of East Cameroon received support from the Support Service for Local Development Initiatives (SAILD). They were trained a month ago in modern beekeeping production techniques. At the end of this training, 45 hives had been installed by the beneficiaries in the 3 villages. The recent six-day meeting with these Deng Deng National Park communities was therefore an opportunity for SAILD to assess the rate of colonization of the installed hives.

Monitoring installed hives

An inspection of the beehives installed in each village was carried out by the OC-Deng Deng project’s agricultural manager. This was the first time the hives had been inspected since their installation a month ago. “The inspection consisted in observing each hive individually; this operation involved standing at a distance and observing the flight board located at the entrance to the hive to identify the presence or absence of bees”, confides Aristide Tchounkeu, SAILD Technician. However, after observing the body of the hives, the results are not satisfactory: “Of the 45 hives installed in the three villages, only two have been colonized, i.e. a percentage of 04.44%”, laments the young man.

The technician explains that this poor result is mainly due to the presence of ants in uncolonized hives, the main threat to beekeeping production. “As soon as they enter, ants multiply, storing eggs in the hive body and reducing entry. Termites have also been observed. The latter are dangerous because they decompose the wood used for production and build galleries with the help of earth all over the hive”, he declared.

New installations

To alleviate this problem, the uncolonized hives were cleaned and then reinstalled. To combat the coming invasion of ants, a local solution was adopted: “With all the farmers, we used drain oil as an ant repellent. We smeared it on the hive supports. What’s more, we soaked a piece of cloth in the oil and attached it to each hive stand to prevent ants and termites leaving the ground for the hive,” reveals Aristide Tchounkeu. Beekeeping is struggling to take off in these areas, despite the enthusiasm of farmers, who point to the scarcity of bee colonies. In response, Aristide offers to move some of the hives to other locations to maximize the chances of colonization.
SAILD‘s new support for young beekeepers has strengthened the capacities of these communities living alongside the Deng Deng National Park. Another salutary action in the context of the OC-Deng Deng project, entitled “Optimizing conservation of the Deng Deng National Park by strengthening the capacities of local riverside communities in agro-ecological practices“, initiated by SAILD with funding from IUCN through the BIOPAMA program.

machesharon1@gmail.com

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