In April of 2022 the Honorary Consul of Malawi reached out to ask if I would be interested in leading a “beekeeping safari” in November. I would be responsible for finding at least 12 beekeepers excited to go with me to Malawi. I didn’t know what a beekeeping safari was, but I immediately said yes. I hung up the phone, excited to get home to share the fun news with Aidan, then I realized….I have a baby. Who will be breastfeeding. In November. When I want to go on a safari. I called my contact back, and said “Problem: not only does Aidan need to come, but my (what will be) 1 year old needs to come to.”
It’s November 2. The ink on our marriage certificate from our wedding is 4 days old, and my whole crew leaves for Malawi in 5 days (plus 14 other beekeepers and friends of beekeepers!). Here. We. Go.
We will be in Malawi 12 days, and will spend ⅓ of those days in national parks on safari, hoping to see some of the greatest wildlife shows available on earth: lions, buffalo, elephants, hippos, rhinos, and so much more. We will also spend about ⅓ of the trip visiting with local beekeepers, learning more about the beekeeping culture and practices, and sharing our own experiences as beekeepers. Two of these days will be spent at the Jacaranda Foundation, a school that provides comprehensive free education and care to orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through their Primary and Secondary programs. We will be giving a presentation to about 100 of the children, hoping to build excitement and nurture a love of bees and the ecology, and will spend the rest of our time with Jacaranda’s beekeeping club. The club is made up of about 20 secondary students and we will spend 2 days with the students in a hope to provide more advanced skill sets and entrepreneurial skills.
Turns out, planning 3 days of service for a group with a wide range of skill sets and interests for a group of folks halfway around the world that can be difficult to reach because of time zone differences, poor wifi, and language barriers is QUITE the challenge. I’m not totally sure what these days will entail, and though we are preparing as best we can, I am putting on my most flexible and ‘go with the flow’ attitude for what will surely be a lot of last minute schedule and content changes. Most of all, I just hope to have a really amazing exchange of experiences, ideas, and good will and love of humanity on both sides.
We have been asked to provide new beekeeping tools, protective gear, and beekeeping books for the children. A portion of our Twilight Picnic sales this weekend will be donated to pay for these items, and then Two Hives Honey is picking up the tab for the rest.
Here’s my ask: are you interested and able to help provide new beekeeping tools and gear for children of Jacaranda? If so, you can contribute in one of two ways:
- Purchase a ticket to our Twilight Picnic on Saturday, November 5, and then sit back, and enjoy the starry view, good music, and great company. Feel good knowing that every two tickets sold will provide for one hive tool and veil or one beekeeping book for the children of Malawi.
- Donate to directly purchase items for the children. You can do this via our venmo which is @twohives. Any amount is amazing, and below will tell you how your funds will stretch:
- $5 will buy one mini hive tool, a perfect kid size tool
- $15 will buy one beekeeping veil
- $20 will buy one beekeeping book
- $50 will buy one hive smoker
As you can see, even $5 will make a huge difference for a child! Thank you for your consideration, and know that even if giving isn’t an option now, we will make sure the kids are well taken care of!
Can’t wait to share more about the trip on the other side!
For the bees,