Social Story – When RBL Bank interns visited us

One a hot June day, 32 management interns from RBL Bank visited our Valsad project villages to understand our work with small farmers and bees. RBL Bank supports the project here, and the interns received a first-hand view of the program’s objectives and progress made on various fronts.
The group excited to begin field activities assigned by Dhara Patel, UTMT team leader Gujarat in the Beekeeping Resource Centre, Tutarkhed village
Weighing and packing seeds of niger (an oilseed) and til (sesame), for distribution before the monsoons set in. The additional flora will serve as additional food for bees.
Sesame seeds packed and ready to go!
Fascinated to see bees up close
An intern bravely volunteers to check a frame
Lunch is served! – khichdi, brinjal vegetable, fresh mango-onion salad finished with deliciously sweet, ripe mangoes plucked from a beekeeper’s tree
For the love of mangoes!
Wall writing on a beekeeper’s house – “I am a beekeeper” – stenciled by the group
Christina Kinny, UTMT Mumbai, presents Thank You notes to the teams
Digging a mud pile around a mud-hive, to protect it from flooding during rains

Kiddie Bee Talk

UTMT recently visited Ascend International School, to educate and familiarize young kids about bees and their importance in the environment. The children were intrigued, the message well received and the day was accompanied by a whole lot of fun!

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Social Story: Mud Hives Training

Experimenting with new techniques, team UTMT recently learned to make mud hives and wall hives. These were explored as alternatives to the wooden beeboxes currently used to house our Apis cerana bees.
Women trainees in Dhule learning to make a mud hive in a corner of a garden

Comparison between a wooden beebox (LHS) and mud hive (RHS).

After completion, a mud hive will have the same eight wooden frames on which bees will begin building a honeycomb. With a shape and structure similar to a beebox, the mud hive closely replicates the internal environment bees are accustomed to living in. Using naturally available mud not only brings down raw material costs, it also helps maintain optimal temperature of the hive.
Dhara Patel, Team Leader, Gujarat, gets her hands dirty
A “wall hive” being made. (LHS) Work in progress and (RHS) the finished product. Basically it is a mud hive affixed into the wall of the village house. Through the wooden “door” on the front side, beekeepers open the structure to check on their bees.
Technical Assistant Madhubhai Bhoya from Gujarat teaches women beekeepers construction of a mud hive.
It’s time for a trainee to practically apply Madhubhai’s teaching