Nasreen Khan, a resident of Thana in Swat, shares her devastating experience of losing her thriving beekeeping business to the merciless floods of the Swat River. Despite facing initial criticism and gender stereotypes, Nasreen, along with her husband, embarked on the beekeeping venture seven years ago to contribute to their household income amidst rising inflation.
With determination and hard work, Nasreen’s business flourished, expanding from seven to an impressive 400 bee boxes. The success brought her financial stability, enabling her to purchase a house, a car, and some land. Nasreen firmly believes that women are equally capable of engaging in beekeeping and any other field they choose.
Nasreen’s passion for beekeeping has inspired other women in her community to explore this entrepreneurial opportunity. Many have reached out to her, seeking guidance and information about starting their beekeeping ventures.
However, tragedy struck on August 25th of the previous year when the floodwaters originating from the upper areas of Swat swept away two hundred of Nasreen’s bee boxes, resulting in a staggering loss of Rs. 3,000,000. To recover from the financial setback, she was forced to sell her car and house.
Nasreen recalls that during the summer season, like others, they had placed their bee boxes near the riverbank. Unfortunately, a sudden flash flood washed away all their hard work and investments. Countless beekeepers in the area suffered significant losses amounting to millions of rupees.
In addition to the challenges posed by climate change, such as erratic weather patterns causing floods and prolonged cold spells affecting honey extraction, Nasreen highlights the lack of government support for beekeeping businesses. While assistance was provided to those affected by the floods, the beekeepers were left without any cooperation or aid.
Nasreen appeals to the government for support and cooperation, emphasizing the importance of nurturing and empowering beekeepers to revive their businesses and contribute to the local economy once again.