Until recently, beekeeping was of little interest to most Zimbabweans living in the country's eastern district of Mutasa, a lush green mountainous region about 350 kilometers (217 miles) from the capital Harare. That has changed dramatically since the nonprofit organization Environment Africa started encouraging locals to get into the beekeeping business as a means of providing alternative livelihoods and protecting the forests.
The project, which is active in other parts of Zimbabwe and several other African countries as well, is financed by the European Union and managed by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Alternative livelihoods best logging deterrent According to official figures, the country had been losing 1.5 million hectares of forest a year until 2015.
Even hefty fines for setting fires and cutting down trees for firewood could not deter Zimbabweans from cutting down trees to earn a living. "I used to cut trees without planting any," he said.
But now that that he's joined the beekeeping project, he doesn't want to see anyone cutting down or burning the forests. But trees provide flowers, which are the food that lets the bees produce honey - and honey is now my livelihood." Before he entered the beekeeping business, Chatambura was never formally employed, which is not unusual in Zimbabwe.
And then there is still the matter of the trees - Environment Africa doesn't want to leave that to chance.
The head of the organization in Zimbabwe, Barnabas Mawire, said: "We are also into tree planting - we actually increase the hectarage where the bees can forage." A woodland walk is a wonderful thing.