“You should be passionate about your work“: Beekeeping in the Mountains of GeorgiaPublished: Dec 17, 2021 Reading time: 3 minutes
Giga and Gvantsa, brother and sister from the mountain village of Lechkhumi in Georgia, share their passion for beekeeping. Life here in the mountains is not easy, but they decided to leave the big city after finishing university. The bees called them back to their home village. People in Need (PIN) supports beekeepers thanks to a project funded by the Czech Development Agency.
Giga and Gvantsa Tchabukiani have grown up surrounded by bees. Beekeeping is their passion, their hobby, and their income too.
„It was a family tradition. Our great-grandfather used to keep bees and as we grew up and started school, at around 13 or 14 years old, we got involved, too. Our grandfather inherited the business from our great-grandfather. Then, our father took charge and finally, we stepped in. After graduating from university, we returned to the village and expanded the production,“ says Giga Tchabukiani. He studied food safety. His sister Gvantsa is a teacher in a small school in Lechkhumi, her class has only 14 pupils. In the afternoon, she takes care of the bees and decorates honey jars. Their enterprise, Honey from Lechkhumi, is selling honey to one company, who uses the jars as traditional business presents from Georgia in Saudi Arabia and other countries.
The siblings plan to help other young people living in the village. They are trying to be an example while offering the opportunity to generate income. Finding a job is not easy in the mountains. „We would like to teach beekeeping to the young people still living in the village, to equip them with basic skills that will help them work in this industry. We will serve beekeepers in our region. Our enterprise will allow them to process honey in compliance with the standards of the National Food Agency,“ explains Gvantsa Tchabukiani. Currently, they are building a teaching center in their garden that will help them spread their knowledge to other beekeepers.
People in Need (PIN) supports beekeepers in Georgia long term with funding from the Czech Development Agency and the Real Gift fundraiser. Giga and Gvantsa received grant money to increase their inventory and attend a month-long training. „At PIN-organised trainings, we learned more about queen bee breeding, bee milk production, pollen collection, and new methods of working with bees. These trainings gave us the knowledge needed to further develop my beekeeping,“ describe Giga. Gvantsa adds: “The practical part of the training was particularly important, as it allowed us to further enhance our skills and pass along this knowledge to the young people we are teaching. Thanks to the practical trainings, we get to help them as well.“
This project from People in Need has helped Giga and Gvantsa a lot, but it’s not the only thing that drives them forward. „You can’t do this business unless you love it, because you just won’t succeed. You should be passionate about your work. You should be doing whatever your heart desires.”