Beekeeping officer at Sao-Hill forest plantation in Mufindi, Said Aboubakar made the call here yesterday when speaking on the World Bee Day, an annual event which is marked on May 20. The day is aimed at drawing the attention of the world’s public and political decision-makers to the importance of protecting bees.
Aboubakar described bee milk as a milky secretion produced by worker honey bees, which is known for a wide range of medical benefits, including boosting immune system and countering allergic reactions, helping alzheimer’s patients and containing beneficial probiotics. He said that it is also used as a general health tonic for fighting the effects of aging and skin disorders.
Apart from supporting environmental conservation, the expert said that bees make excellent pollinators because most of their life is spent collecting pollen, a source of protein that they feed to their developing offspring.
“Many plants require this kind of pollen distribution, known as cross-pollination, in order to produce viable seeds,” he said.
Commenting on Sao Hill Plantation in Mufindi, which is managed by Tanzania Forest Service Agency (TFS) he said they harvest three products from beekeeping—honey, beeswax and pollen, “and we’re currently working on better ways of harvesting other products such as bee milk.”
Beekeeping in the Sao-Hill Plantation started in 2013 with 50 modern beehives and now the number of beehives has reached 1,263.
“The money we get from beekeeping helps in conserving the forest, creating employment opportunities and beekeeping education to people living around the plantation,” he said.
In 2013, the plantation had assisted 10 women and youth groups whereby every group was empowered with 10 modern beehives and honey harvesting equipment.
Acting Director of Mafinga Town Council Voster Mgina commended the role played by Sao-Hill Plantation in scaling up education on beekeeping.
Chief conservator of the Sao Hill - Mufindi, Juma Mseti described the plantation as key in promoting Tanzania’s industrialisation agenda.
“We are also working hard to establish honey processing plant in the country,” he said.