Starting from scratch, faced with difficult living conditions and lack of opportunities, Mrs. Tahani, a widow aged 50 from Deir Al-Ghosun, Tulkarm and her family started beekeeping as one of the beneficiaries of the project. She suffers from chronic spinal diseases that hinder her from working and is considered the sole breadwinner for a family of six, most of whom are in school. The family’s monthly income does not exceed 300$, relying mainly on charity.

“Since I received the project, I have been following all the instructions that have been given to me, until I was able to manage it myself and with the help of one of my sons who has a passionate interest in beekeeping”, she says.

At present, her project is taking off after the World Food Program (WFP) and The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ), provided eight beehives to help her to grow her business. “During the last season, I was able to produce 60 kg of honey, and I sold 22% of it with the help of ARIJ’s Staff Association in the city of Bethlehem, with an additional profit margin of 33% compared to the remaining quantity that I sold to other different clients from my town to eventually get a sum of $1,030. I expect to produce additional eight new hives that I will raise and prepare for harvesting honey during the next season”, she said.

“I did not own beehives before, but I had some knowledge that I gained previously while living with my parents”, She added. “My knowledge was not up to the required level that would enable me to manage the apiary on my own and obtain high productivity of honey. The practical and theoretical trainings as well as the periodic follow up visits by the project team were a good opportunity to earn the required knowledge and skills”. “Therefore, I am currently seeking to further develop my project to be the major source of income for my family without relying on charity”. “The most important thing is that I can run the project without leaving my home so that I can fulfill all my obligations and without any additional burdens”, she continued.

The project helped me in improving the livelihood of my family members; the level of my monthly income has increased by 30%, which I used a large portion of to cover the education expenses for my children. Therefore, I would like to express my thanks to ARIJ and WFP for their financial and moral support and continuous follow-up”, she concludes.

Through the project titled “Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) project for enhancing resilience, local food production, and income of the most climate-vulnerable communities in Palestine” which is implemented by ARIJ in direct cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) and funded by the World Food Program, beehives were distributed to six households. An average of eight beehives were distributed for each beneficiary in different areas of the West Bank. All targeted beneficiaries received a set of theoretical and practical training that contributed to building their capabilities in the field of honey apiary management. During the productive season of 2022, they were able to produce 376 kg of honey, which were sold at a value of $7,520 (the average selling price is $20 per kg).