29 May 2023

Mykhailo Tsybulka from Kharkiv continues developing his family’s apiary despite the war. With assistance from the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA), the beekeeper received consultations on implementing the food safety standard Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) in his creamed-honey production shop. Read the beekeeper’s story below.

Tsybulka has had a passion for bees since childhood, as his grandfather and father were both beekeepers. As far back as he can remember, he was always near the hives. In 2019, he started running his own business, gradually increasing the number of bee colonies and had plans to expand his business, but then the war broke out.In the spring of 2022, the Tsybulko family left their home and their apiary behind.

“My grandfather Pavlo had been running an apiary in Kharkiv Oblast since 1948, and as a child, I always followed him. I remember spending all my time at the apiary. Four years ago, I decided to develop the apiary myself. When the full-scale war began, my family and I moved to Ivano-Frankivsk because there was heavy shelling in Kharkiv,” Tsybulko says.

Over the past year, honey prices on the Ukrainian market have fallen, forcing the family to look for ways to earn more money. So they decided to produce creamed honey. But they needed money to expand the apiary, buy equipment for making the creamed honey, and also needed to get the necessary permission to sell this product. Thanks to a grant from the state’s Erobota program, Tsybulka obtained funds to expand the apiary and create an additional 60 hives to increase the total to 100 hives. This year, the apiary will be nomadic again to get better honey and help the bees collect it.

“I received the grant and as I can work with wood, I make the hives myself, which is profitable. Last year, I bought wood and made hives in winter and spring, and thanks to this grant, my apiary has grown 2.5 times. The next step is to fill the hives with bee colonies, I will take some of my own bees, and some I plan to buy,” the beekeeper says.

Mykhailo received another grant from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to launch the production of cream honey. With the grant money, he purchased equipment that has already allowed him to start production – tables, shelves, furniture, a dispenser, and raw materials (fruit sublimates). But to sell such a product, you need to have the necessary certification and permits.



20 December 2022

Roman Burdzhanadze had to leave his apiary behind under temporary occupation in Luhansk Oblast. He and his family moved to a village in  Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and decided to create an apiary from scratch. Now he is preparing new hives, where he plans to settle bee colonies in spring.

Burdzhanadze had been developing an industrial apiary of 200 hives for five years, which brought him a stable income. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine forced the family to leave their home and business in early March. On the second day of the war, Russia’s forces occupied the area and the apiary, blocking Burdzhanadze’s access, so he was unable to take anything with him.

Once in the village of Bulakhivka, Pavlohrad Raion, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Burdzhanadze started thinking about restoring his apiary. USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) assisted him in preparing a business plan and winning a grant of UAH 250,000 from the state ERobota program. The beekeeper used it to purchase wood for hives, frames, bee packages and other equipment. He also hired two IDPs who had worked at his apiary at home.

“A beekeeper is busy even in winter. Now we are preparing hives in the workshop, and painting them for the new season so we can bring bees in the spring. Here in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast there are good honey plants, herbs, acacia trees, forests and rivers, so I hope to get delicious honey,” says Burdzhanadze.

Burdzhanadze started to get to know local beekeepers, asking them where he could buy high-quality beeswax. When he could not find any wax locally, he applied for and received a grant from the Danish Refugee Council for 15,000 euros to purchase beeswax production equipment. The equipment is produced by a manufacturer from Kharkiv Oblast whose plant was damaged by shelling, but the order from Burdzhanadze was accepted, and now a line for wax production is being prepared.

“I think not only I need this wax, but many beekeepers in the region too.  Once I have my own production, I will be able to meet their needs. I expect to receive the equipment soon, and will launch the line next year. I will be able to produce up to 5,000 kg of wax per month,” Burdzhanadze says.

The beekeeper has applied to Mezheritska community in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to purchase premises (a workshop) at auction, where he plans to set up wax production. Burdzhanadze believes he will succeed because he has his favorite business, bees, and faith in victory. He is looking forward to spring to create a new powerful apiary, with 120 already prepared hives.