Nukleus Beekeeping Association to begin Beeswax production in the Municipality of Gracanica
By: Vladimir Zivkovic & Lisar Morina
This week we were delighted to mark the beginning of beeswax production in the Municipality of Gracanica, in Laplje Selo/Llapllasellë!
Bees are the world's most important pollinator of food crops. Around 1/3 of all the food that we consume each day relies on pollination by bees. In Kosovo, though the beekeeping industry is growing and holds great potential, one of the biggest hurdles for beekeepers is a lack of quality beeswax plates, which are an essential supply for quality production of honey, honey milk, propolis, etc.
With 40 members who own 1,000 beehives, Nukleus Beekeeping Association has great market knowledge and a wide network of collaborators in the beekeeping industry in Kosovo. EYE supported Nukleus in developing a self-sustainable business plan and procuring beeswax machines--a systemic intervention which will help not just Nukleus, but the entire ecosystem of beekeepers in Kosovo, estimated to have a total of 100,000 beehives, who can now use quality beeswax to expand their business, hire new employees, and increase competetiveness.
The president of the Association of Beekeepers "Nukleus", Mladen Djokic, stated that beekeepers will make high-quality wax with the help of their new machinery. "Behind us is the whole machine that allows us to sterilize our own wax and produce the necessary and only ingredient that bees use, and that is wax. This machine will not be at the service of only local beekeepers, but all beekeepers in the municipality of Gracanica, and beyond," said Djokic.
Although he is relatively new in the business, Sinisa Djordjevic from Gracanica owns 40 beehives. His plan, he says, is to get to a total of 100 beehives. "Before this, we were buying everything and anything, wax of dubious quality and paraffin. We offer it to the bees in the hive, but the bees simply don't cross it, and also don't pull out a frame where they would store food and brood. So this machine really means a lot to us," said Sinisa Djordevic
Zivorad Petkovic, one of the more experienced beekeepers, said that it's important to them that now they have quality beeswax this close to home. "The most expensive commodity for beekeepers is time. We had to go to very far places to buy good-quality wax. We were visiting regional fairs in Belgrade, Skopje, Nis, and even there it was hard to find the quality of beeswax plates, not to mention time in transportation. I am also happy that we as more experienced generation can provide knowledge to young people, who are energetic and will to improve existing things. It works well so far."
The Municipality of Gracanica also contributed greatly--providing Nukleus with premises free-of-charge, which they can use to manufacture beeswax. The mayor of Gracanica, Srdjan Popovic, thanked the SDC project EYE and Swiss Government for the investment and pointed out that the functioning of the Association "Nukleus" is very important for this municipality. "There are over 100 beekeepers on the territory of the municipality of Gracanica, we have about 3,000 hives and that is something that really makes us happy: the fact that people can make a living from what they produce themselves. This is a signal to all young people who have innovative ideas and everyone who works on employing young people, the Municipality will meet them", said Popovic.