Beekeeper Mentor Program – Call for mentor volunteers

Fiji Beekeepers Association is looking for skilled beekeepers who are willing to mentor less experienced beekeepers for a one-year period beginning in January. Mentors will work side-by-side with their trainee(s) and teach them essential beekeeping skills.

Teaching experience is not required. FBA is also looking for beginning beekeepers who are interested in receiving beekeeping mentoring.

The ideal mentor has six or more years of beekeeping experience. Prospective mentors are encouraged to also nominate inexperienced beekeepers in their area as their trainee(s). Mentors and trainees may apply together.

Trainees would normally already have their own beehives and less than six years of beekeeping experience. This program is not intended to start new beekeepers, but to strengthen beekeeping skills.

How The Program Works

Mentors and trainees sign a mentoring agreement with FBA for the knowledge transfer of specific basic beekeeping skills to be taught during 6 or more apiary mentoring visits in 2021. Skills include hive inspections, management for honey production, harvesting, basic bee breeding, and disease and parasite control.

Mentors are not paid.

However, FBA will provide mentors and trainees with some unassembled hive parts for teaching/learning hive assembly and colony splitting, other training materials, and coaching and monitoring of the program.

FBA’s Mentor program was established in 2016 and has been internationally recognized as a successful model for improving beekeeper success.

FBA’s 2021 Mentor Program is funded by the European Union through a project named Farmer Organizations for Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific ( #FO4ACP ) that is coordinated in Fiji by PIFON. One of the donor’s goals is the increased economic participation of women in agriculture, so FBA will give priority to women mentor and trainee applicants.

Fijian beekeepers interested in being a mentor or a trainee should request a simple one-page application form by FB private message, or reply to this announcement, or email to John Caldeira at email [email protected]. Applications must be submitted by Sunday, December 13, 2020.

Technical support and monitoring of the program will be assisted by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

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