The GARD Center and the Australian Embassy based in Trinidad and Tobago and the Mill Reef fund have partnered with the Antigua and Barbuda Beekeeping Cooperative to train youth in beekeeping and its added valued activities in soap making and bee box construction. Twenty-two (22) participants have been involved in a ten week training course that is covering topics such as:
- managing bee hives
- collecting swarms
- life of bees
- equipment and clothing
- business management etc.
Along with the technical aspects of raising bees the participants are learning how to add value to some of the secondary products from beekeeping such as using the beeswax in the making of soaps and creams. Other activities in the project will be the production of some educational fact sheets on various aspects of Beekeeping in Antigua and Barbuda.
The Australian Embassy has assisted with funding for beekeeping suits, other equipment and the lumber for the bee boxes. The Mill Reef Fund has also provided the funding for most of the trainers fees as well as equipment.
It is hoped that this partnership will go a long way in helping to boost the beekeeping industry in Antigua and Barbuda after facing some challenges which was affecting its survival.