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Bee Keepers Cooperative Society formed in Grand Bahama
By Andrew Coakley
Mar 23, 2018 - 2:01:40 PM

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NEW COOPERATIVE – Officers from the newly formed Grand Bahama Beekeeper’s Cooperative Society Ltd. Were introduced to the public on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 during a press conference in the conference room of the Office of the Prime Minister (GB). Officers of the newly formed cooperative presented some of the products they made from honey and beeswax to the Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson (fourth from left); Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Harcourt Brown (left) and representatives from the Bahamas Development Bank and from BAIC. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - The newly introduced Apiary program, which was formulated and organized by the Office of the Prime Minister in Grand Bahama, under the leadership of the Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, has taken another big step in cementing its growth, with the formulation of an Apiary Cooperative.

“I want to be the first to congratulate the newly formed Grand Bahama Bee Keepers Cooperative Society Ltd.,” said Minister Thompson, during a press conference in the Office of The Prime Minister on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

“Today is certainly a good day in Grand Bahama.”

The Youth Apiary program was launched in Grand Bahama early in 2018. It became a partnership between the Office of the Prime Minister, BAIC and the Bahamas Development Bank, to train young people in the honey production and Bee-Keeping Industry.

MADE BY BEES – Some of the items that have been created by members of the newly formed Grand Bahama Beekeeper’s Cooperative Society include honey, soap, lip balm, candles and even jewelry. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Minister Thompson noted that an important aspect of the program, in addition to the training, was the funding to help the young people to start their respective businesses. The formation of the cooperative is one of the steps that must be taken as the group of new entrepreneurs move closer to becoming full time business owners.

“We know that they are not quite completed yet, but this is a huge milestone,” said Minister Thompson. “Today is a very important step. They are almost at the end of their training, but they have now formed their business.  “On behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government of The Bahamas I want to thank Leka for the training that she has taken them through and we also want to thank the Bahamas Development Bank for their partnership in providing the funding for this.

In addition to forming their business, they have already begun production. The group of young entrepreneurs have created a number of items including honey, soap, lip balm, candles and even jewelry.

Minister Thompson said that in launching the program, the idea was not just to provide jobs for young people, but to help them create a business. He wanted to help stir up an entrepreneurial spirit among the young people.

“That’s what we need here in Grand Bahama to fight unemployment,” said Minister Thompson. “From what I’ve seen, they have an excellent product, so we are inviting all Bahamians to purchase these products and support this business.

“Their products will have the seal of the Grand Bahama Bee Keepers Cooperative Society Ltd.”

In a passionate “thank you” speech, Chairman of the newly formed GB Bee Keepers Cooperative Society Ltd., C. Cooper admitted that while going through the training program, it was both an exciting and terrifying experience.

She said that she was stung in the eyes a number of times, but she never gave up. Cooper said the group appreciates everyone who took the time out to introduce the program, take them through the training process and give them an opportunity.

“We are so grateful for this opportunity,” Cooper said. “We really, really needed this and we really, really appreciate it.

“This has made us appreciate our government and all the people who are helping us. Because as young people, sometimes you don’t have that many people pulling for you. So, to have a whole mass of people really rooting for you and wanting you to actually prosper and be something in life, it’s a really good feeling.”

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