Innovation in Bee Farming in Jericho – West Bank
CARE West Bank and Gaza worked with a group of women in Jericho in the West Bank to start a bee farm. They established a business plan and secured equipment and expertise to get the bee farming cooperative started.
What happened next was entirely created by the group of women. Meeting regularly and collaborating, the women started with honey production, then Propolis. Propolis is a mixture of flower pollen, nectar, enzymes, honey and wax. As it turns out, it is loaded with nutrients, vitamins and lipids that are a super food.
The next innovation was the production and sale of Royal Jelly.
“Royal Jelly is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and have medicinal properties, including lowering blood pressure to healing disease to increasing fertility!” says Najat, the champion of the cooperative. “I have customers who have tried everything to have a baby, I send them home with royal jelly and, after consuming small teaspoons daily, I now have many new ‘nieces’ and ‘nephews’ as I like to call them.”
Najat is a representative member of her cooperative for Jericho in The Palestinian Bee Keeping Board affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture. She was chosen for her expertise and leadership. Najat was voted into this position; she is currently one of only two women in the Board.
“My focus is on the cooperative and all the women in it,” Najat says. “My biggest goal is to continue to grow our market share and ensure our product line is of the highest quality. We must also focus on training more women for success, especially the younger ones,” Najat continues.
How life has changed
The bee cooperative has created jobs in the Jericho community. One third of all income goes to staff salaries. Another portion of the funds go to training and expertise to ensure the women are equipped for success. The women are also training younger women to bee farm and to support in marketing or supply chain management.