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Beekeepers Union Keeps Bees Moving

The Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) successfully advocated for permits to be issued for beekeepers allowing them to continue work during the curfew.

The Government of Georgia declared the nationwide curfew on March 30th, 2020 to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus, prohibiting any movement from 9:00 PM to 06:00 AM. This posed a serious problem for beekeepers who rely on transhumance predominantly at night.

In Georgia, bee transhumance allows for beekeepers to place hives at different altitudes to capture the flowering of different plants. Starting from late Spring, Georgian beekeepers start to move apiaries to get different types of honey including Acacia,Chestnut, Alpine, Linden. The transhumance of bees significantly increases their honey productivity.

On April 4th, the GBU sent an official letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) asking for the issuing of permission/passes for beekeepers including the guidance it developed for beekeepers during the Covid-19 outbreak.

We asked the Minister to mediate with the appropriate agencies to issue special permits, so that beekeepers may access their apiaries and work there, transport beekeeping apiaries for transhumance on pre-determined routes within the curfew conditions.’ – Avksenti Papava, the Director of the GBU.

Up to eight hundred beekeepers have already used permits, who are now able to visit apiaries and carry out vital seasonal treatment and maintenance.  Bees are transported at night where possible, because they do not leave a hive during night, which the permit makes possible.

‘I have my apiaries located in the different regions for getting various types of honey. I was very happy to hear about special permit for beekeepers, as it is very active season in beekeeping. I am able to freely move to the locations and do not worry about time limitations’ – Kakhaber Zirakasvili, a beekeeper.

Guidance and contact information on getting permits and the Covid-19 recommendations have been shared by the GBU on its facebook page.

The Georgian Beekeepers Union (www.geobeekeepers.ge) is an umbrella association uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies with more than four thousand Georgian beekeepers. It was established to represent their interests and to promote the health and development of the honey sector in Georgia with the facilitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP).

OTHER NEWS
11/07/2017
Memorandum with the Women’s Rooms in Ajara

On 7th of July, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Women’s Rooms and the Gender Equality Council of Supreme Council of Ajara Autonomous Republic. According to the MOU, the Council will work with municipalities through the WRs to raise public awareness of gender and increase women’s participation in the decision-making processes. The Gamgebelis and other municipality representatives attended the ceremony and supported the idea.

“The Women’s Rooms have become one of the main powers in ensuring gender equality in the municipalities. The MOU aims to continue and strengthen our cooperation with the WRs and fulfill the mission of increasing women’s participation in the public sector”- Nino Chkhetia, the Chairwoman of the Gender Equality Council.

20/06/2017
Premiere of Jara in Batumi

On 16th of June, the premiere of Jara was held in Batumi for the local governmental and non-governmental sector, funded and organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Ajara Autonomous Republic. The decision-makers of the region attended the screening: the Chairman of the Ajara Autonomous Republic, the local Ministers of Agriculture, Education and Health; the Mayor of Batumi, the representatives of Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara, municipalities and international organizations.

The film was received with great interest and applauses. Two main actors of the movie, who are also local residents and beekeepers themselves, were gifted with the modern honey extractor by the Minister of Agriculture.

09/06/2017
Wider Linkages for Women’s Rooms

The First Lady of Georgia Maka Chichua visited Bolnisi municipality’s educational- rehabilitation center for children with disabilities. While there she also received information about Bolnisi’s Municipally run Women’s Room, a service providing consultation and linkages to resources for local rural inhabitants. The First Lady was hosted by the Governor of Kvemo Kartli Grigol Nemsadze and the Gamgebeli of Bolnisi Municipality Davit Sherazadishvili. The Alliances Caucasus Programme who facilitated the inception of the rooms now present in 17 rural municipalities and two cities in Georgia was invited and highlighted the pertinence of the service to the supporting the initiative of the First Lady.

08/06/2017
Opportunities for Rural Women

Three local women have been employed by the Association for Each Other through Keda municipality Women’s Room. The women will conduct a survey about the people with disabilities in every administrative unit and village of the municipality.  

“The Women’s Room has given me an opportunity to get my own income. It’s temporary, but I think it will be the beginning of my active social life. This experience will give me new skills and become more involved in the local activities, I want to use this chance and make new linkages“. – says Mari Baramidze, one of the employed wom

16/05/2017
New Transhumance Season with new Bio Security Points

The Spring transhumance of the annual movement million heads of livestock has recently started. Georgian Shepherds will benefit from two new Bio Security Points in Dedoplistskaro and Signagi in addition to existing points in Marneuli and Rustavi municipalities. All four BSPs are in full operational mode ready to serve nomadic farmers. EU standard infrastructure, duly equipped specialists hired by the NFA and the special chemicals for treating animals against parasites - are in place to ensure health control of migrated livestock. A special certificate is also issued for farmers proving the livestock was treated against external parasites. 

Two more BSPs in Telavi and Bolnisi municipalities funded by the government of Georgia are now underway and will be finished by the end of 2017.

31/03/2017
Jara Screening

'Jara' has been premiered on 30th of March with great success. More than 400 representatives from the regional and central government, the non-governmental sector, the donor organizations gave standing ovations and applauses to the film makers and artists.

The film is shot in a professional manner. It is astonishing and wild to see. I have no idea how the crew has managed to shoot the bears and wolves. The special tribute should be paid to the composer of the film’s original soundtracks. It should be seen by as many people as possible: melancholy of the season changings, music and just amazing views of the wild nature, never seen in the daily lives’ – Dima Pursanov.

LATEST NEWS
New Beekeeper Info Links Launched
22/05/2020
On the May 20th, 4,400 beekeepers registered in the new GBU database received an SMS notification from the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) on how to treat Varroa, the most common bee disease in Georgia. The GBU will continue informing its members through phone Facebook. And their new official webpage is now online: www.geobeekeepers.ge. Created in 2018, the GBU is an umbrella association uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies.  
Beekeepers Union Keeps Bees Moving
21/05/2020
The Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) successfully advocated for permits to be issued for beekeepers allowing them to continue work during the curfew. The Government of Georgia declared the nationwide curfew on March 30th, 2020 to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus, prohibiting any movement from 9:00 PM to 06:00 AM. This posed a serious problem for beekeepers who rely on transhumance predominantly at night. In Georgia, bee transhumance allows for beekeepers to place hives at different altitudes to capture the flowering of different plants. Starting from late Spring, Georgian beekeepers start to move apiaries to get different types of honey including Acacia,Chestnut, Alpine, Linden. The transhumance of bees significantly increases their honey productivity. On April 4th, the GBU sent an official letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) asking for the issuing of permission/passes for beekeepers including the guidance it developed for beekeepers during the Covid-19 outbreak. ‘We asked the Minister to mediate with the appropriate agencies to issue special permits, so that beekeepers may access their apiaries and work there, transport beekeeping apiaries for transhumance on pre-determined routes within the curfew conditions.’ – Avksenti Papava, the Director of the GBU. Up to eight hundred beekeepers have already used permits, who are now able to visit apiaries and carry out vital seasonal treatment and maintenance.  Bees are transported at night where possible, because they do not leave a hive during night, which the permit makes possible. ‘I have my apiaries located in the different regions for getting various types of honey. I was very happy to hear about special permit for beekeepers, as it is very active season in beekeeping. I am able to freely move to the locations and do not worry about time limitations’ – Kakhaber Zirakasvili, a beekeeper. Guidance and contact information on getting permits and the Covid-19 recommendations have been shared by the GBU on its facebook page. The Georgian Beekeepers Union (www.geobeekeepers.ge) is an umbrella association uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies with more than four thousand Georgian beekeepers. It was established to represent their interests and to promote the health and development of the honey sector in Georgia with the facilitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP).
Kindness is Contagious
19/05/2020
In the midst of anxiety under the COVID-19, some people rise to the occasion when faced with adversity and it is uplifting to hear stories about them. As for many others it has been difficult times for the client businesses of the programme, but they have continued to help people most affected by the current crisis over the past two weeks.   Ten dairy enterprises with the Georgian Milk Mark www.georgianmilk.ge provided cheese for the medical staff of hospitals in the frontline of battling the virus as well as people under quarantine and locals in the lockdown areas in the different regions of Georgia, who have limited access to the markets. ‘It is now important to show support to each other. I was very happy to see reactions from people, who were very surprised and thankful. I think those GMM enterprises set very good example for others.’ – A GMM cheese distributor.   The Georgian Beekeepers Union (www.geobeekeepers.ge), uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies supplied 1.2 tonnes of honey for further distribution among medical staff and vulnerable groups. The Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking group’s (programme facilitated honey aggregator and exporter company) forty-one rooms hotel-complex is being used as a quarantine zone, the company also supplied food to locals over seventy in two regions of Georgia within a social project ‘Care for Each Other’ initiated after the virus outbreak and is now offering online sales and a free home delivery of its products (wine, compotes, jams, including, honey); the company’s webpage Old Kakheti went online to improve online sales. These are a few examples and continuation of the kindness acts that started a month ago.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Covid-19 Guidance for Beekeepers
A Pragmatic Approach to Assessing System Change
FAO Bee Disease Guide