Richard van Welzen

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About Richard van Welzen

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2017 – 9 female surgeons in Amudat to benefit from WimRob apiary program

WimRob Bees Company is working with 9 ex-female surgeons in Amudat. They used to carry out female circumcision for a living. Now WimRob Bees Company has empowered and convinced them to start keeping bees and honey production as a alternative for their living income.

We have send them our bees expert (Robert Okodia) to Amudat to train them on the first module of keeping bees as a business. Already nine of them are being trained and after they will receive startup packages which includes beehives, smokers, hive tools, bee brush and bee suit to help them get the knowledge and skills in modern beekeeping.

After their training and inputs, WimRob will give the women 10 KTB hives each and a monthly facilitations of 50,000 UGX and at the end of every honey harvesting season, they will received 10% of the total honey harvested from WimRob bee hives, after three years WimRob will hand the bee hives over to the surgeons.

This is like a pilot program. When it is successful WimRob is planning to scale this one up.


2017 – Research showing the great quality/potential of our honey, due to the “zero” detection rate of pesticides!

This study developed a validated multi-residue method for pesticides/agrochemicals detection in honeybee hive products, using GC-ECD and LC-MSMS which simultaneously controlled for 36 pesticides. Various traces of insecticides and fungicides in bees and bee products were found from three agro-ecological zones in Uganda (West-Nile, Mid-Northern, Eastern), and the common chemical classes of insecticides detected included neonicotinoids, carbamates, tetrazines and diacylhydrazines. Almost all detected chemicals were found in the beeswax and in the samples derived from neighbouring citrus (Eastern) and tobacco (West-Nile) cropping systems, but the detected levels were below the MRL set by the EU as well as the lethal acute doses for honeybees. The presence of neonicotinoids and systemic fungicides suggests that whilst MRLs are low, possible sub-lethal impacts of several substances may present a threat to honeybees in the region. This suggests the need for a robust risk assessment of pesticides or chemical contaminants for our understanding of the resilience of Ugandan honeybee genotypes in a contaminated environment. Interestingly, the “zero” detection rate of pesticides in the honey from the Mid-Northern zone indicates substantial potential for marketing Ugandan organic honey in international markets.

Source: NCBI


2017 – ZOA Business ambassadors visit A Bees Company

In total six ZOA business ambassadors came to Uganda to visit A Bees Company. During their visit they have seen the apiary site in Amudat and of course our wonderful processing center in Lira. Afterwards we discussed the challenges of doing business in Uganda while enjoing a Nile Special.


2017 – Joining de Uganda National Apicultural event

A Bees Company participated in the National Honey Week Exhibition event in 2017. Due to our continous hard work A Bees Company received the first price for their Apicultural Development.


2017 – Exporting our highly natural beeswax to Japan

Due to our close collaboration with local African Beekeepers A Bees Company is able to deliver natural beeswax of extraordinary quality. In the following pictures you can see our first shipment of a 20 feet seacontainer full of A Bees Company beeswax stacked on pallets and wrapped in foil for the export to Japan. Thereby is it possible (thanks to our great network of local beekeepers) to deliver our natural beeswax regularly in high quantity’s, so more shipments will definitely come!


2017 – Setting up apiary learning centres by WimRob

A Bees CompanyKaramoja is one of the driest regions in Uganda with an inherent pastoralist culture, but it also produces one of the best organic honeys in Uganda. WimRob has a lready set up two community apiary learning centres for the pastoralist communities to learn modern bee keeping and good quality and quantity honey production.

“This is mainly a cattle keepers region but bee keeping is now their secondary economic activities and this the reasons why we decided to set an honey hub in Amudat district, Karamoja”.

Robert Okodia, WimRob director added that the two training centres will also acts like a honey collection hub, bees wax and propolis. We will train 1,000 Karamojong in apiary management, post-harvest handling and bulking.

2017 – WimRob is strengthening the honey value chain in Northern Uganda

Wimrob Bees, which is strengthening the honey value chain in Northern Uganda, last month participated in the five days all African honey exposition that took place in Kigali Rwanda with the aims of increasing its global market linkages. The expo is a biannual event that showcase bee products, markets and equipment from Africa to the world.
At the show Wimrob staff benefited of acquiring new markets, new skills and innovation in bee keeping and technologies used in honey production. This was a must-attend event for Wimrob, as leaders in apiculture development in Uganda.
“We are promoting bee keeping as a source of employment creation, household income and enhancer of environmental conservation”, said Robert Okodia, Wimrob director. We are committed to impacting a thousand lives through bee keeping and honey production in Northern Uganda.

Honey expert Robert Okodia - A Bees Company
A Bees Company

2017 – WimRob announce two new employees

WimRob is happy to announce that two new employees will join our company. We welcome them and wish them good luck as our new colleagues.

Walter is a chartered accountant. In our team he will be responsible for all finance & accounting and reporting.

Irene joins our company in the Lira factory. She will start her career with WimRob as a record keeper and will grow fast to higher positions with more responsibilities.

2016 – Top 5 aspects in: “What is the best place for your beehive(s)?”

Our bee-master Robert Okodia will give you five golden rules to find the best spot for your beehive:

  1. You will enjoy beekeeping more, when your beehive is easy accessible. Moreover, you also have an easier job during harvesting.
  2. Consider a beehive location which is quiet and exposed to the early morning sun. Please avoid any hot sun during the middle of the day.
  3. Water has to be available close to the beehive, because bees need water to use within the hive. Of course it is possible to make water available by using a reservoir.
  4. Besides the availability of water, it is also important to locate your beehive in an area with a huge variety of flowers.
  5. For the safety of your neighbours, please fence your apiary. For your own safety make sure, the beehive and the area surrounded by the beehive is levelled.

Due to this 5 practical tips from our bee-expert, we hope you now have a better opinion about what is important while finding a spot for one or more of your beehives.

Good luck!

Written by Emmanuel Opio

Robert Okodia - A Bees Company

2016 – Our A Bees Company Director of Africa has visited Holland to meet other experts

Our ABC Director Africa, Mr. Robert Okodia, visited Holland to meet experts from the University Wageningen to talk about issues on pests (hive beetle) and bio degradation.
He also took the time to visit a large commercial bee farm in Holland to meet another very experienced Dutch beekeeper, Mr. Cees van Holland. They were visibly happy to inspect some hives together.

A Bees Company