Mariam Manukyan, a brave woman with lofty goals got married in Zaritap village of Vayots Dzor province. Over time, she discovered a newfound passion for beekeeping and decided to transform it into a sustainable business endeavor.
“The nature here is very lush, which is a great asset for beekeepers like us to produce environmentally friendly and healthy product - honey. With favorable weather conditions, we can even yield up to 300 kg of honey,” proudly exclaims Mariam, a 28-year-old mom of three boys, whose journey took a significant leap forward when she honed her expertise through training on beekeeping, organized within the Armenia Workforce Development Activity.
Mariam proudly shares a remarkable transformation taking place in her village, as not too long ago, the sight of a woman beekeeper was a rarity, but the winds of change have blown in. Today, the village hums with a new rhythm as the number of female beekeepers has increased and Mariam has become a beacon of this change. She skillfully not only handles the bees but also gently breaks the old stereotypes that once confined her.
"The training was conducted online, and my mother-in-law, who is the backbone of our beekeeping business, would often join me. We gained valuable insights, ranging from bee care techniques to the significance of different types of beehives. Being a successful beekeeper requires a calm and composed demeanor, as the bees are highly responsive to the keeper's energy." Mariam proudly notes that after the training, she expanded her collection of beehives from 4 to 20.
“With a deep love for our village and a strong affinity for agricultural work, beekeeping has become both my hobby and my passion. To anyone contemplating embarking on their own beekeeping journey, I say go for it! It’s a rewarding, educational, and, yes, sweet experience,” Mariam concludes with a warm smile.
Launched in October 2021, the Armenia Workforce Development Activity, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is implemented by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) and a consortium of partners, including the Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) Foundation, Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR), and Civitta Armenia. The primary objective of the Activity is to equip 10,000 young individuals aged 15 to 29 from all provinces of Armenia with essential job skills highly sought after in the labor market. Furthermore, it aims to provide better employment opportunities to 7,000 individuals in the fields of ICT/high-tech, agriculture, and hospitality.