Aba Mengist Demeke, one of the Ethiopian farmers who exhibited his innovation at the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair in Nairobi in May 2013, was involved in participatory research together with researchers from the Andassa Livestock Research Centre, the NGO AgriService Ethiopia and district administration staff in his home area Enebse Sar Midir in Amhara Region.
In this experiment, the beehive developed by Aba Mengist was compared with other types of beehives. The comparison was carried out by Aba Mengist and five other farmers in the field and also at the apiary site of the research centre. The Aba Mengist hive yielded less honey than the introduced top-bar and frame hives but had some important advantages: it yielded more than the traditional beehives in the area, it can be made by farmers at low cost with materials that are easily available, and farmers can easily handle it using their indigenous knowledge. However, Aba Mengist’s hive also had some drawbacks, such as low durability and non-suitability for colony inspection. The innovator partly solved the first problem by constructing a protective roof above the hive. The partners in the research agreed that the farmer innovator’s new hive was promising for resource-poor farmers and could still be improved further. See the paper “Comparison of Aba Mengist beehive with top-bar and frame hives in Enebse Sar Midir and Bahir Dar Zuria Districts of Amhara Region, Ethiopia”, which is co-authored with the farmer innovator.