I don’t think I have met anyone who doesn’t like the taste of honey on their morning slice of bread.
It’s hard to believe that such a wonderful product is provided for free by Mother Nature. Well not necessarily for free; it comes from the hard work of the honey bees. Bees are so hard working that they don’t just stop with producing honey. They also provide us with the have the following;
- Bee bread Production
- Bees Wax
- Royal jelly
- Bee Venom for medical use (Apitherapy)
- Honey (Well, this was already mentioned above)
The bees proved to be very beneficial to humans leading them to try to domesticate wild bees . They made attempts to keep them in wooden boxes, hollow logs, pottery vessels and woven straw baskets/ Skeps. Traces of beeswax were found in pot sherds throughout the Middle East beginning about 7000 BCE.
Benefits of Bee Keeping
- It’s affordable and needs little capital to start.
- You can get other products apart from honey from the bee hive which can be used to add value addition to your business.
- Bees are also used as pollinators for many crops thus increasing crop yields.
- You don’t need a big land to practice bee keeping. 50 bee colonies only require ¼ of an Acre. The land does not even need to be fertile.
- Bee Farming is cheap and does not compete for resources like other agricultural enterprises.
- Honey is a non-perishable food which is also another plus side to bee keeping.
- Low labour is required.
- Medicinal values of most hive products provide remedy for a number of ailments.
So what is Bee Keeping?
Beekeeping or apiculture is the maintenance of honey bee in order to extract honey, pollen and other bee products for income generation and food. Bee keeping is also kept for medicinal functions that are found in honey. It is an activity that can be done by both men and women. The Kenyan government encourages the youth to take up Bee Farming so as to generate income for themselves and empower their communities.
It is relatively affordable to keep bees with a one hive going for only Ksh 3,000. You do not need to have a big land to keep bees as the bee hive is small and can be hanged on top of a tree.
What is a Hive?
This is the box or container where the bees are kept. You need to have a bee hive to be called a bee keeper.
Types of Bee Hives:
|Hive type||Average Honey Production in Kg
|Kenya Top Bar Hive||30|
|Traditional Log Hive||20|
1 Langsroth Beehive Costs Ksh 3,000 (Prices vary with location of purchase. To make it even cheaper you can take the materials to your local carpenter and give him design details. )