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While their daughter Rekebki looks on, Wubalem and her husband Tsega clean the honey and wax harvested from a traditional hive. This is a much more labourious task than processing the honey from modern hives.

Wubalem Shiferaw, age 23, lives in the village of Mecha with her husband Tsega Bekele, age 33, and their daughter Rekebki, age 4. Wubalem remembers her grandparents harvesting honey. She has maintained this tradition while moving to modern hives which produce a far greater yield of honey. Wubalem is a member of the Mecha village Cooperative which brings together local women beekeepers allowing them to share insights and build a credit union. The Mecha village Cooperative is not yet a member of the Zembaba Union. Wubalem's husband Tsega is a priest and a tailor.

Harvesting honey supplements the income of small farmers in the Ethiopian region of Amhara where there is a long tradition of honey production. However, without the resources to properly invest in production and the continued use of of traditional, low-yielding hives, farmers have not been able to reap proper reward for their labour.

The formation of the Zembaba Bee Products Development and Marketing Cooperative Union is an attempt to realize the potential of honey production in Amhara and ensure that the benefits reach small producers.

By providing modern, high-yield hives, protective equipment and training to beekeepers, the Cooperative Union helps increase production and secure a steady supply of honey for which there is growing demand both in and beyond Ethiopia. The collective processing, marketing and distribution of Zembaba's "Amar" honey means that profits stay within the cooperative network of 3,500 beekeepers rather than being passed onto brokers and agents. The Union has signed an agreement with the multinational Ambrosia group to supply honey to the export market.

Zembaba Bee Products Development and Marketing Cooperative Union also provides credit to individual members and trains c
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©Tom Pietrasik
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ETHIOPIA
While their daughter Rekebki looks on, Wubalem and her husband Tsega clean the honey and wax harvested from a traditional hive. This is a much more labourious task than processing the honey from modern hives. <br />
<br />
Wubalem Shiferaw, age 23, lives in the village of Mecha with her husband Tsega Bekele, age 33, and their daughter Rekebki, age 4. Wubalem remembers her grandparents harvesting honey. She has maintained this tradition while moving to modern hives which produce a far greater yield of honey. Wubalem is a member of the Mecha village Cooperative which brings together local women beekeepers allowing them to share insights and build a credit union. The Mecha village Cooperative is not yet a member of the Zembaba Union. Wubalem's husband Tsega is a priest and a tailor. <br />
<br />
Harvesting honey supplements the income of small farmers in the Ethiopian region of Amhara where there is a long tradition of honey production. However, without the resources to properly invest in production and the continued use of of traditional, low-yielding hives, farmers have not been able to reap proper reward for their labour. <br />
<br />
The formation of the Zembaba Bee Products Development and Marketing Cooperative Union is an attempt to realize the potential of honey production in Amhara and ensure that the benefits reach small producers. <br />
<br />
By providing modern, high-yield hives, protective equipment and training to beekeepers, the Cooperative Union helps increase production and secure a steady supply of honey for which there is growing demand both in and beyond Ethiopia. The collective processing, marketing and distribution of Zembaba's "Amar" honey means that profits stay within the cooperative network of 3,500 beekeepers rather than being passed onto brokers and agents. The Union has signed an agreement with the multinational Ambrosia group to supply honey to the export market. <br />
<br />
Zembaba Bee Products Development and Marketing Cooperative Union also provides credit to individual members and trains c