Dominica Beekeepers Association urged to provide opportunities for youth

Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, Gloria Shillingford. Photo: GIS

The Dominica Beekeepers Association has been urged to provide opportunities for the youth and more precisely to get them involved in the Bee Keepers Co-operative, one of the major enterprises on the island.

Hon. Minister for Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, Gloria Shillingford, made this appeal at the opening ceremony of a beekeepers’ workshop, held at the Garraway Hotel on Monday, July 04th, 2011.

The opening ceremony of the beekeepers’ workshop is just one of the many activities that are being held throughout the week, in observance of co-operative week which is being celebrated under the theme “Youth, the Future of Co-operative Enterprises.”

“It is also timely to celebrate co-operative week under the theme, ‘Youth and Entrepreneurship Development’ since many of our youth are graduating from high school and will soon be searching for gainful employment. Indeed, being self-employed as a beekeeper is a lucrative avenue that our youths can explore,” she said.

Commissioner of Co-operatives, Mariet Canoville, also encouraged young people to tap into the beekeeping niche since there are many benefits that can be derived from the industry.

“You wonder why, young people? The practice of beekeeping teaches young people the value of community and teamwork. When learning about the bee, we quickly learn that a seemingly insignificant insect that has no apparent function in our busy schedule is responsible for almost all of the food that we eat and the flowers that we enjoy. Beekeeping teaches children and teens more than just how to be good beekeepers. It teaches all of us that no man is insignificant and that we all need each other,” she said.

President of the Beekeepers Co-operative, Lennox Fagan, relayed similar sentiments as he advised farmers to exploit the full potential of the industry.

He believes that the beekeeping industry can be a very viable enterprise, with each product being a multi-million sub sector, if and when farmers learn to make use of the bees, in order to increase their years.

According to him, based on a recent research, Dominica can accommodate 5000 hives and presently only 600 exist.

“Beekeeping is part of agriculture and does not receive the respect it deserves; not from farmers, beekeepers or from the relevant authorities. This industry is truly under-utilised,” he noted.

Beekeeping consultant, Clive De Bruyn, highlighted the importance of bees and its impact on our daily lives.

“The only thing that people know is bee stings and bees make honey and this is irrelevant. The thing that you must remember when I leave is bees pollinate flowers. That is the most important thing that they do and everything else is irrelevant. People always talk about honey. Honey is a by-product. The very air that we breathe depends on bees. If you do not have bees, pollinating flowers that are on trees, the trees will not propagate. Trees produce oxygen from carbon dioxide that we are producing. So, without vegetation, life is going to end,” he said.

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5 Comments

  1. rain
    July 12, 2011

    Not only there was one officer present from the division,i was told there was only one beer bottle of honey on display, and it was not a label Dominica beekeepers co-operative, i think it was from the USA,where is all the honey from D/ca?

  2. pureblackmagic
    July 11, 2011

    Please Madame Minister, it is a good idea to give our youth encouragement to enter the the Industry, but in all your speeches both pass and present, you have never suggested any way forward in the industry, form the Goverment stand point. Where do beekeepers go from there?

  3. mama
    July 9, 2011

    Who everis pushing Cooperative enterprises good job. Congrats Hon. Shillingford.

  4. positve dominican
    July 8, 2011

    bee keeping does not create much attention in D/ca but the honey is a good medicine for all sickness.i understood that there was a workshop on tuesday and only one officer was present from the division.my question is where are the other officers. more team work is needed to move the division forward

  5. bahgay kah santi
    July 8, 2011

    Fair enough madame speaker. It’s all well & good to give encouragement to the youth. But please madame minister, give the beekeepers co-operative there washroom facilty in the decent white office that was erected behind the Traffic department. So then the co-operative can go about its beesness with ease. thank you very much.

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