FAO / YEMEN BEEKEEPERS

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18-May-2022 00:02:53
Yemeni honey is globally appreciated, the country’s tradition of beekeeping goes back centuries. Poems and songs have praised its many virtues, but local bees and beekeepers are threatened by increasing challenges due to the ongoing conflict. FAO

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STORY: FAO / YEMEN BEEKEEPERS
TRT: 2:53
SOURCE: FAO
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT FAO ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 6, 7, 10 MARCH 2022, SHABWAH GOVERNATE, YEMEN

SHOTLIST:

1.Close up, Bees on a beehive entrance
2.Tracking shot, beekeeper Salim Al-Diwali leaving his house
3.Med shot, Salim Al-Diwali wearing bee protective suit
4.Wide shot, Salim Al-Diwali Salim Al-Diwali working with honeycomb brushing off bees
5.SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper:
“The war has affected beekeepers, many remained jobless. I heard that some beekeepers' beehives were hit by airstrikes. Some beekeepers abandoned their beehives in areas of conflict and [their beehives] were completely destroyed.”
6. Wide shot, Salim Al-Diwali walking towards beehives carrying equipment
7.Close up, Salim Al-Diwali holding a honeycomb with bees
8.SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper:
“I took a FAO course that supports small beekeeping farmers. I was provided with eight beehives, a water tank, and a honey extractor for a group of beneficiaries, two base wax boxes, a brush, and some jars. Thankfully, I was able to expand and increase [the production]. I have received eight beehives and today I have 30 beehives. I hope to continue raising bees.”
9. Wide shot, Salim Al-Diwali checking a beehive surrounded by bees
10. Med up, Salim Al-Diwali working on a beehive
11. Close up, Salim Al-Diwali estracting from a beehive a wooden frame with honeycomb and bees on it
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper: “As a beekeeper, my happy moments are when I harvest the plentiful honey, when I go to the market to sell my honey, when I earn money and buy things for my children and family, and when I have savings. These are the happiest moments to see that my efforts paid off.”
13. Wide shot, Salim Al-Diwali walking into a room with equipment to extract honey while holding a box from the beehive
14. Close up, Salim Al-Diwali handling the honeycomb with metal spoon to extract honey from the cells
15. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper: “My relationship with bees is a brotherly, family-like relationship. It is a part of my life. I can’t live without bees. Every day in the morning, I must check on my bees. When I see the bees healthy, I feel relaxed, and I am not depressed anymore. Bees are a massive part of Yemenis' life.”
16. Close up, honey drops falling into an extractor
17. Med shot, honey extractor in function
18. Close up, honey being poured on a filter
19.Med shot, filtered honey being poured into jars

STORYLINE:

Yemeni honey is globally appreciated, the country’s tradition of beekeeping goes back centuries. Poems and songs have praised its many virtues, but local bees and beekeepers are threatened by increasing challenges due to the ongoing conflict.

Salim Al-Diwali, from the Abadan valley in Yemen’s southeastern Shabwah governorate, is one of the many beekeepers who lost their beehives during the conflict. When that happened, the 40 year-old beekeeper, a father of seven, lost his livelihood.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper: “The war has affected beekeepers, many remained jobless. I heard that some beekeepers' beehives were hit by airstrikes. Some beekeepers abandoned their beehives in areas of conflict and [their beehives] were completely destroyed.”

Yemen is one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world with 17.4 million people acutely food insecure due to the ongoing conflict.

To respond to these challenges and support the fragile populations of Yemen, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) implemented a three-year project to enhance honey production in seven of the most food insecure governorates of the country (Abyan, Al Hudaydah, Hajjah, Laj, Sa’da, Shabwah and Taizz). FAO provided trainings and gear to beekeepers and taught them how to produce honey more efficiently.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper: “I took a FAO course that supports small beekeeping farmers. I was provided with eight beehives, a water tank, and a honey extractor for a group of beneficiaries, two base wax boxes, a brush, and some jars. Thankfully, I was able to expand and increase [the production]. I have received eight beehives and today I have 30 beehives. I hope to continue raising bees.”

Salim has recovered from the losses caused by the conflict and is now able to generate income to support his family. He purchased additional beehives with the income generated from the initial honey and wax production.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper: “As a beekeeper, my happy moments are when I harvest the plentiful honey, when I go to the market to sell my honey, when I earn money and buy things for my children and family, and when I have savings. These are the happiest moments to see that my efforts paid off.”

The project reached 700 beekeepers, enabling each of them to produce around 40 kg of honey per year. Every kg is worth about YER 30 000 (USD 50), contributing to sustaining their lives and livelihoods. For many of them beekeeping is not only a source of income but a true passion for life.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Salim Al-Diwali, beekeeper: “My relationship with bees is a brotherly, family-like relationship. It is a part of my life. I can’t live without bees. Every day in the morning, I must check on my bees. When I see the bees healthy, I feel relaxed, and I am not depressed anymore. Bees are a massive part of Yemenis' life.”

The project was implemented by FAO with support from the World Bank.

Around 100 000 households in Yemen depend on beekeeping as their primary source of livelihood, and healthy bees are crucial to ensure the production of honey, promoting food security and nutrition in the country.

In 2017 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously proclaimed 20 May as World Bee Day to draw attention to the essential role played by bees and other pollinators in contributing to biodiversity and agriculture. This year FAO will observe the World Bee Day through a virtual event, under the theme ‘Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems’.
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