We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Mama Bees Beeswax

I was nicknamed Mama Nyuki ("Bee") last year, but now we have many Mama Nyuki's! It has been wonderful having Zoe Willford with us teaching women's groups how to make value-added products with beeswax. All the mamas are very excited about the potential business ventures and we thoroughly enjoyed our lessons with Zoe!
Finding a place to hang the hand-dipped beeswax candles to set! 

Malya Women's Group

Interestingly, this group of ten women from Malya village had named themselves the Upendo ("Love") Group and it was a privilege to be with them for the two days of the Beekeeping Seminar! We found a small spot in the shade of the very hot sun and Zoe taught how to clean and filter wax from the hive and how to make different types of beeswax candles (even using cut-up pipes as moulds!), beautiful body creams and soothing lip balm. I was on translating duty, learning a whole new Swahili vocabulary in the process! Zoe also taught how to make cheap and easy protective bee-suits for the beekeepers using flour sacks and mosquito nets.
Making bee-suits
Trying on for size!
At the end of the two days, they had elected a chairwoman for the group and when we return next month to continue the work, they will elect a treasurer and secretary and begin the process of starting a Village Savings and Loans Group. They will be able to buy the beeswax from the Beekeepers Group and use it to make products to sell for a good profit that we pray will greatly benefit them and their families.
The Upendo Mamas, Malya

Upendo wa Mama Group

The Upendo wa Mama Group (Mamas with Albinism or children with albinism) has been busy recently! The group made a good batch of the cards that Megan taught them how to make last month. They then took these along with more necklaces and earrings to sell in Dar es Salaam last week. They had the great opportunity to go as a group to a Business Entrepreneurship Seminar for Women with Albinism or with children with Albinism. They thoroughly enjoyed the conference and were also able to make some money selling their products!

We are also pleased to welcome a new member to the group! Jane has two young children and has been through an horrific time, losing her husband, being rejected by family and then needing to escape and hide after attempts were made to kill her young child. We pray that she could find the healing and the help that she needs.

Last Wednesday afternoon, we met again in Mama Penina's school classroom and Zoe taught all the women how to make the beautiful beeswax products! Again, everyone thoroughly enjoyed getting involved and were amazed and thrilled with their results!
Making candles

Zoe in action!
It is time-consuming work, but the end result is some really lovely natural products. For the creams and lip balms, we are able to use locally sourced natural oils like coconut and almond oil and we are working on extracting avacado oil to use as well. So watch this space to see when these bee-utiful products hit the market!
Here are few more photos ... just because it was all so beautiful!
Dipping candles
Everyone was so proud of their accomplishments! 

Making Body Cream

The body cream was very popular
(this poor child didn't seem so impressed with the smothering!)
Loving the Lip Balm!
Melting the wax

Finished Products! Not bad for a first time!
 Click here to go to Part 1 on the Bee Project



  1. Well done Rachel. Such a great job. So lovely to see the Mamas enjoying the time and the beeswax products look brilliant. Whoop whoop!

    1. Thanks Ellen! I went overboard a little on the photos ... but glad to see you are excited too :)

  2. So glad you have enjoyed the visit from Zoe Wilford. Wonderful to see the work in your community and Bees Abroad are very pleased to support your work.

  3. I just want to know to what extent bee wax jelly can help to protect people with albinism skins.


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