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Residents urged to venture in bee keeping to boost their income

Residents of Losogwa village in Nyahururu Laikipia County have been urged to adopt beekeeping for more income to support their families.

 

An agronomist Mr Joseph Kiarie said, “The current Kenyan economy needs us to have multiple sources of income to sustain our livelihoods. Therefore, I urge you to adopt bee farming as a way to supplement your other sources of income. This is because honey has great demand in our country and selling it can bring funds to support our families.”

“I also encourage you to at least have a few bee hives on your farms as bees do not only produce honey for sale but also act as pollinators which plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy, genetically diverse ecosystem of plants and are essential in the pollination of food crops hence food security,” advised Kiarie.

He added that bee keeping was easy to start and maintain noting that less was expected from the farmers, except setting up water points around the hives during dry seasons and ensuring that the hives are well stationed.

“Bee keeping is easy to start and maintain. You only require a bee hive. For example, a Langstroth hive goes for Sh4, 000 and it yields an average of 35kgs of honey per harvest. Bees are easy to maintain as you will only be required to provide them with water during the extremely dry season,” he said during a meeting with Losogwa village residents.

Kenneth Wachira, a farmer within Igwamiti ward, said he started beekeeping in 2016 to protect his orchard from thieves. He then developed the idea into a business by selling the honey. This forced him to add nine more hives as he had started with only three, to meet the big demand.  

“I reared bees in my orchard to keep thieves away, later on, I started selling the honey and realized that it had a high demand. This pushed me into the honey business and I added 9 more bee hives in my farm,” said Wachira.

Wachira added that proceeds from honey caters for all expenses incurred in bee keeping and he is left with handsome profit that boosts his standards of living. “I sell the commodity to homes and also supply to several supermarkets in Nyahururu town. My customers use it as a spice for sweetening food like chapati and rice, and also as a traditional medicine for treating allergies, colds and measles in infants,” said Wachira.

He however stated that for bee farmers to obtain maximum profit, they should be in a position to harvest, process and package the honey themselves as packed honey was more expensive than the unprocessed.

By Kennedy Muchori and Margret Malika

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