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The sustainable project of beekeeping in Ghana presented for the first time

Date :14.06.2021

Medex has proudly publicly presented the sustainable project of developing beekeeping in Ghana for the first time, putting Slovenia at the very top of apiculture outside our borders.
     

The sustainable project of beekeeping in Ghana , Aleša Mižigoj, Mojca Mavec

          The main objectives of the project, implemented under the auspices of the largest development bank in Ghana – EXIM, are to develop beekeeping, increase pollination and crop yield, honey production and to create new jobs for the rural population of Ghana with a particular focus on employing women.  
 
The sustainable project of beekeeping in Ghana , Medex
 
Slovenian knowledge in the area of beekeeping is exceptional and Ghana recognised Medex as a partner and ambassador of Slovenian beekeeping with extensive experience in beekeeping development and in furthering the fundamental knowledge on bee products.

The project’s potential was also recognised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the presentation, Matjaž Florjanc Lukan pointed out that Medex's sustainable project truly places Slovenia at the very top of beekeeping development even outside our borders. “This is why we at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are very proud of being part of this success story.”

Aleša Mižigoj, CEO of Medex, added that since its very beginning Medex has always operated not only as a honey bottler and manufacturer of bee products, but rather as the driving force behind the development and knowledge spreading in the field of beekeeping. “The goal of the project is to establish three educational centres and thus the foundations for starting professional beekeeping in this African country with the aim of expanding to the entire West Africa.”

 
The sustainable project of beekeeping in Ghana, Medex

 

Desire to create new jobs

Kofi Bossman, Director of the Beekeeping development in Ghana project, noted at the project presentation that despite extremely favourable climatic conditions enabling beekeeping and honey production, Ghana nevertheless imports over 600 tonnes of honey each month. This is why they started the “Ghana Beyond Aid” initiative, which we have proudly joined, and the purpose of which is to ensure the added value of raw materials with the intention of achieving industrialisation, prosperity and of creating new jobs.

Mitja Smrdel, beekeeping instructor and head of the project’s technical team, emphasised that their work on the project will be very interesting and at the same time very demanding. At first, they were of the opinion that work with the Apis Mellifera Adansonii African bee cannot be that different from working with our bee, but then they discovered numerous differences. “One of them is apiaries, which are completely different from ours. Hives are not placed in apiaries or clustered together, but rather arranged over bushes, usually far away from settlements,” said Smrdel. He added that their bees seem calmer than our queen.
“Even when getting closer to the beehive, they almost do not show any aggression; however, everything changes in the moment of opening the hive. Their bees then turn out to be significantly more temperamental than ours and working with them becomes very hard.”

Two African beekeepers already in Slovenia

The first two beekeepers to be trained as part of the project are already in Slovenia and have already started their training. Working with Slovenian bees will be done virtually as a slow motion video of the African beehive due to the differences of both species, and numerous challenges will certainly await them when they return to their home country.

The pilot project will last 18 months. 3 centres will be established during this time, in which various hive systems and technologies will be tested. 7 beekeepers will be trained as part of the project, and they will care for the bees during the pilot project and will later pass on this knowledge to other beekeepers.
 
Slovenian honey, Medex

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