Beekeeping in Kenya
In 2011 I experienced the opportunity to utilize a womens beekeeping group in Kitui, Kenya. This was a U.S. department for Global developing (USAID) task arranged by Citizen's Network for international matters (CNFA). This is my very first task in Kenya. Here are a few pictures.
Kitui is about 160 kilometers east of Nairobi. It's a rather dry exotic area.
My project was to help people in the beekeeping association boost their small-scale honey companies.
Although I am provided with a-scope of work prior to a project, as usual I spent a short time comprehending their particular current techniques before exposing countless brand-new some ideas. We'll share some of this back ground next few photos.
The bees tend to be mellifera scutellata. They're really protective and tend to exhibit exorbitant swarming. The may also be at risk of abscond from a hive whenever problems are bad, such as in times during the drought.
The hives tend to be kept from the ground to cut back predation by honey badgers and ants.
Honey badgers tend to be destructive predators. They claw away at a hive until they gain access. This hive (kept) had its address and entrance damaged by a honey badger.
The beekeeper (right) informed myself your honey badger is smart adequate to occasionally strike his hives inspite of the elaborate hive really stands.
Beekeepers near Katui hardly ever raise their very own queens or split colonies. Instead, they await swarms to naturally populate their hives. They reported over 80per cent success in having bare hives populated annually.
Three types of bee hives are used in Kenya: 1. The current Langstroth hive, 2. Log hives, and 3. Top bar hives.
Many beekeepers prefer Langstroth hives, nevertheless they also choose wood hives over top-bar hives.
A number of beekeepers explained that bees abscond much more from the top club hives than from wood hives or Langstroth hives. I can only reckon that it's the larger solar power temperature load on the top club hive and poor insulation that causes the bees to go out of.
It's quite common to see beeswax and often dead bees drifting in bottles of honey sold in areas (kept). The bits of was tend to be intended to convince the consumer the honey originated in bees, and it is not a sugar syrup combine.
More contemporary packaging (right) are available in larger supermarkets.
Now, onto my task: After an informal analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the beekeeping, my work targeted areas being more likely to possess biggest positive impact.
It sessions had been a mixture of industry and 'classroom' sessions.
We identified here since the biggest regions of need: 1) development of beeswax as something of this hive, and 2) the requirement to strengthen colonies by reducing strain on the bees and feeding all of them in times of dearth, and 3) basic business skills.
In class sessions we covered all the beekeeping principles, including how-to provide food and water for bees and exactly how to divide colonies.
Later on, these principles were shown in the bee yard.
The Kitui location beekeepers was in fact throwing away their particular beeswax in the place of rendering it in order to make candle lights or even sell in Nairobi.T he world advertise wholesale cost of beeswax is around $8 to $10 USD per kilogram ($3.50-$4.50/lb) generally there is an opportunity to produce earnings right here!
We chose to develop a solar power wax melter for beekeeping organization so users could produce wax for usage or purchase.
The actual only real destination using the tools required to build a wax melter ended up being a second school. The wood store teacher graciously took about this task. By 50 percent on a daily basis the teacher, their pupils, and I had our melter constructed!
Therefore worked great, through numerous sunlight!
On most of my USAID projects, we invite my alternatives to visit several companies that are believed "best-in-class" in their business.
These benchmarking visits expose all of them to businesses that are some years ahead of all of them technologically. They learn company methods and also the experience presents all of them to regional 'experts' inside their business.
Because of this task, I rented a minivan and took 11 beekeepers to visit a honey processing facility and a rather successful beekeeper a few hours drive away.
It had been an excellent field journey, and everyone appeared to study from the see.
At kept, they've been researching making beeswax candle lights and employ of a refractometer determine moisture in honey.