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Masindi Lady finds Passion in Honey Bees :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Masindi Lady finds Passion in Honey Bees

Lillian Ahairwe is one of the formerly unemployed youth that have found a source of livelihood through farming and value addition, particularly apiary. The 26-year-old originally tried passion fruit farming at their family home in Masindi district but later found passion in apiculture after a swarm of bees formed a hive within her passion fruit farm for nectar.
Honey production can be rewarding according to Masindi's Ahairwe Lillian

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Lilian Ahairwe stands behind a neatly laid-out stall at an exhibition recently organised by Buganda Kingdom inside Lubiri, Mengo. 

She is exhibiting her Asali wa Moyo brand of honey as she strives to win more Ugandans to love her honey going by its Swahili brand loosely translated as "honey heart".

Ahairwe is one of the formerly unemployed youth that have found a source of livelihood through farming and value addition, particularly apiary.   

The 26-year-old originally tried passion fruit farming at their family home in Masindi district but later found passion in apiculture after a swarm of bees formed a hive within her passion fruit farm for nectar.

Ahairwe has never looked back. She now has 35 beehives from which she harvests twice a year. Unlike other young women and men searching for employment, Ahairwe is now an employer, hiring  three other youth.

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She has transformed from just a bee keeper to honey processing and packaging under Asali Wa Moyo brand. She produces 40 kilogrammes of honey earning 400,000 Shillings or more per day.

Her original clients were her friends and relatives but she has now built a big clientele from different parts of the country.

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She says she came up with this idea four years back after doing a lot of research about honey processing business.

They not only get honey out of it but also other products like propolice that is used for making anti-bacteria, wax used for making candles and bee venom. She also makes garlic honey, cloves and cinnamon.

Ahairwe says the major problem they face is low production of honey which cannot meet the high demand of  customers. She buys and packages honey from other individuals in West Nile, Masindi and Kotido.

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She urges youth to use their skills to start up any business in case they have a chance to because the best way to see if a business is beneficial and effective or not is by trying it.

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The challenge according to Ahairwe is that farmers still use old-fashioned honey harvesting techniques like burning of the beehives.  That, she says poses a challenge in ensuring and maintaining the quality of honey. She says sometimes bees vacate the hives and take long to come back hence leading to low or no production.

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