Exodus client Diane Sleigh talks about her involvement with the Tijhza Volunteer project
Diane joins the Tijhza Village project each year and her efforts in helping to promote beekeeping in Tijhza is much appreciated.
"Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby but a real source of income for Tijzha and we want to help them develop this opportunity in their environment. Last year, I started getting interested in bees so I contacted the British Beekeepers Association, attended a beginner’s course and got my first colony of bees 3 weeks ago!
Contrast my fast acquisition of a new hobby with the real economic needs of beekeeping high in the remote Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Through Exodus and Andy McKee, this has been my 3rd special volunteer trip to Tijzha where we help in the school and the villagers’ with painting houses and a couple of people even did some tiling. I discovered that there are in fact a couple of beekeepers in the village and got to see some hives in action!
Honey is highly valued by Moroccans for its medicinal and health promoting qualities. It is also a valuable source of income alongside the pollination of crops and hive products, such as wax, are used in lip balms and other lotions. Further educating 2 current bee keepers in how to efficiently harvest their honey will enable them to pass on this knowledge to their neighbours, they will be able to recognise any signs of distress in the colony and be able to take steps to deal with it, protecting their bees and their income.
We’d like to provide some basic, protective clothing for the beekeepers. Currently, they are going into their hives in normal clothing without any head, face or hand protection so often get stung, which is putting off any new recruits! I use basic kitchen gloves and am asking my local beekeeping associations, colleagues and friends for any old-fashioned beekeeping clothing.
First steps to help our Tijhza beekeepers:
- We’d like to find out more about how wax can be used in products for sale to provide another source of income. Anyone who has information or would like to help produce a simple guide to the bee life cycle and the beekeeping year in pictures, please email Amanda Ceraolo.
- If you have any beekeeping clothing, perhaps in need of repair or at the back of the shed, it will certainly be better than what they have now, (which is one hat and veil). To send these items out, you can either send them into the Exodus office or book onto the next Volunteer trip to see the items get passed directly onto the villagers.
- Please donate to the project so we can continue to support beekeeping in Tijhza Village. Make your donations to Friends of Conservation, and indicate that you would like the money to go towards the Tijhza Village Project."
If you would like to help out and join one of our successful and popular volunteer trips to Tijhza Village, and still enjoy a walking holiday in the Atlas Mountains, then contact our Groups organiser: Vanessa Fowler. For more information please see Trip Notes.
Click here to view our Tijhza Village project page.