Beekeeping around Udzungwa Mountains National Park in Kilombero District, Tanzania
The study assessed the practices, productivity and contribution of beekeeping to household income of communities adjacent to UMNP in Kilombero District. Data were collected through administration of questionnaires to households practicing beekeeping and interview of key informants. Means and percentages were calculated for practices, productivity and income. The study revealed that more than 30% of respondents undertake beekeeping in order to earn income. Traditional beehives were mostly used by respondents in Ifakara (46%) and Kidatu (62%) divisions while many (67%) respondents in Mang’ula division used both modern and traditional beehives. Lack of equipment and extension services were mentioned as the main challenges to beekeeping. Many respondents in Ifakara and Mang’ula divisions admitted that modern beehives have double productivity of bee products compared to traditional beehives. Contribution of beekeeping to household income is generally low in all divisions of Ifakara (4%), Mang’ula (13%) and Kidatu (8%) as compared to farming, petty trade and formal employment. It was concluded that the contribution of beekeeping to household income is low in the study area. Increased productivity could increase the contribution to household income. This could be through ensuring availability of extension services, modern beehives and equipment for harvesting and packaging materials.
Keywords: Beekeeping, local community, practices, productivity, household income, Udzungwa Mountains